“Companion phyicians” help bridge gap in local COVID-19 treatment system

(VOVWORLD) - Following the success of the “Companion Physicians” network established by the Vietnam Association of Young Physicians, a similar model was launched in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to increase medical advice and support for COVID-19 patients. Offering coronavirus diagnosis and support online has reduced the pressure on the local medical workforce in Can Tho where the number of people contracting COVID-19 has been on the rise.
“Companion phyicians” help bridge gap in local COVID-19 treatment system - ảnh 1Medical workers prepare medicine for COVID-19 patients under home treatment.

Run by Can Tho’s Association of Young Physicians, the “Companion Physicians” network focuses on COVID-19 patients in need of emergency treatment, those with positive PCR test results in self-quarantine and treatment at home, and those with positive rapid tests under home quarantine to wait for PCR test results.

These people are vulnerable because they don’t know when they need to be hospitalized, who to call for advice during home quarantine, or can’t contact medical facilities if their condition deteriorates.

Doctor Huynh Minh Phu, Chairman of the municipal Association of Young Physicians, said just 10 days after Can Tho asked people to participate in the network, 800 volunteers had registered.

All the participants must undergo a qualification check. If eligible, they will attend an online training session, doctor Phu said.

“Every night we provide training and update information for all volunteers. In the training sessions, the volunteers can talk to people who have been on the COVID-19 frontline in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Non-specialists will attend a separate training session,” said Phu, adding, “The first phase of the training has been completed and we are preparing for the second phase. The training focuses on medical and nutritional carefor both patients andtheir family members being quarantined."  

The network’s activities become more effective when they are connected via switchboard 0292.1022.

And patients can call the network any time they have a question about a health problem or need medical service.

Doctor Do Duc Tri Nhan of Can Tho General Hospital is in charge of managing the “Companion Physicians” group in O Mon district.

“When we phone the patients, their risks are screened immediately based on a risk assessment scoreboard. Low-risk people are monitored through the ‘Companion Physicians’ system so doctors at medical clinics only need to take care of special cases,” said Nhan.

”In my opinion, the network is filling a gap in our local healthcare system at a time when the pandemic is rapidly increasing.”

“Companion phyicians” help bridge gap in local COVID-19 treatment system - ảnh 2The “Companion phyicians” network helps a patient who needs emergency treatment. 

Dr. Le Thi Kim Anh of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City is a co-manager of the nationwide "Companion Physicians" network.

She said every day the network updates its information about infected people from data provided by Can Tho’s CDC, helping the local medical sector allocate its resources better.

“Between 85 and 90% of the patients on the list have received care. We can’t contact the rest because we have the wrong phone number or lack necessary information. When an accurate phone number is provided, doctors call the patient daily,” said Kim Anh.

More than 15,000 COVID-19 patients in Can Tho are receiving treatment at home. The network helps them feel more secure in self-quarantine and acts as a bridge between the city's CDC and local medical facilities.