HCM City's home-care programmes for COVID-19 patients offer doctor consultations, medicines

August 28, 2021 - 16:50

HCM City has rolled out its home-based care programmes for COVID-19 patients as one of its solutions for epidemic prevention and control.


A patient is taken care of at her home in District 1. Photo courtesy of sggp.org.vn

HCM CITY - HCM City has rolled out its home-based care programmes for COVID-19 patients as one of its solutions for epidemic prevention and control.

The city Department of Health's updated guidelines on home-based COVID-19 healthcare only allow home monitoring of patients who meet requirements for self-care capability and facilities at home.

COVID-19 home treatment includes antipyretic drugs; health-enhancing drugs such as vitamins, micronutrients and traditional medicine; antiviral drugs; and anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and oral anticoagulants (for patients with early symptoms of respiratory failure and without support from medical staff), according to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.

Meanwhile, the team in charge of the programme "Helping COVID patients recover from illness" consists of 52 doctors, nurses from the Young Physicians Association of HCM City, and a quick response force with volunteers to examine and treat patients at home in Phú Nhuận District.

The team provides drugs and necessary medical equipment for treatment at home, including 14 types of oriental and western medicine under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. It also operates online with patients to promptly advise and provide timely measures when problems arise.

Phan Minh Hoàng, chairman of the HCM City Young Physicians Association, said the team monitors COVID patients remotely, tells patients how to take care of themselves, and takes a look at their mental health frequently. If serious issues come up, the team directs patients to the nearest medical facility for treatment. 

The HCM City Young Physicians Association expects to work with other districts to expand the programme.

The HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy has also implemented a home-care model in District 8 and District 10.

The model has two teams. While Team 1 monitors patients remotely, Team 2 is in charge of providing outpatient emergency in collaboration with the locality.

In District 10, 14 wards are monitored by 41 units of Team 1. Team 2 has prepared 20 emergency beds, eight doctors, 12 nurses, and eight students and staff working in three shifts 24/7. 

Each consulting team takes care of 20 to 30 patients and calls patients for health updates. Patients can call doctors if they encounter any health issue.

When patients have respiratory failure or other problems, Team 1 will contact Team 2 to take the patient to the emergency station. If the patient is stable after the treatment, he or she will be sent home for Team 1 to continue monitoring. If patients become worse, they will be transferred to hospitals at a higher level.

Similarly, Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine recently launched a remote medical team consisting of experts, doctors and senior students who provide remote consultation for patients isolated at home.

The model is currently being implemented in District 10 and Thủ Đức City, and the list of patients will be taken from the local health system. 

Along with official programmes that help COVID patients at home, many prestigious medical organisations and doctors have joined hands to offer remote consultations as well.

Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, an expert in infectious diseases, has set up a fanpage to offer consultations for patients at home.

“From the first day when a family member is positive with the virus, fever-reducing medicine, vitamin C and medicine for people with chronic underlying diseases should be prepared," Khanh said.

"Oxygen concentration monitoring is also necessary. It is important for family members and patients to stay calm when the disease worsens and patients should learn to breathe evenly. If a patient's oxygen level drops continuously at below 93%, family members should immediately call 155 or 1055 and local health hotlines for further guidance." - VNS