Turkey : Are Family Health Centers ready for the corona virus outbreak?

Extraordinary precautions are taken due to the incidence of corona virus cases in our country. ASM, which is an important center for public health, has an important place in this process. However, the statement made by the AHEF Board of Directors draws attention to the fact that adequate measures have not been taken.

Stating that family health centers should be disinfected more due to density, AHEF made the following warnings:

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Family Physicians, like all healthcare organizations, continue to work with extraordinary efforts and raise awareness among people in the Covid-19 Corona virus epidemic, which emerged in the city of Wuhan in China and rapidly spread to our neighboring countries, and was recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) as a pandemic.

AHEF reported that our people used protective practices and diagnostic opportunities to the full extent in the development of health literacy with both media and posters and 25,000 Family Physicians in the field about what to do in case of doubt about the importance of hand hygiene after contact.

In this process, despite all his devoted efforts, some issues were still encountered in a statement made by the AHEF Board of Directors. The explanation regarding the process was listed as follows:

1- For the health of our people, we find the positive disinfection procedures done by the municipalities in order to disinfect public transportation and public life areas. Family Health Centers (ASM) is one of the centers that will increase the rate of spread when risky patients and necessary disinfection procedures are missing. Although Family Physicians show the necessary sensitivity in this regard, it may not be sufficient when the patient circulation increases due to the epidemic. For this reason, we want the spraying process in question to cover ASMs regularly in this period in order to protect the health of our people.

2- Under the Occupational Health and Safety Law, employers are obliged to provide their employees with protective equipment. In the last case, family physicians cannot provide their personal protective equipment due to the exorbitant price increase in personal disinfection materials such as masks and gloves. Although we contacted our Ministry in this regard, there was no material supply. Family Physicians working with great devotion are among the most risky employees against the epidemic and they are at risk. We learn about the situation of our colleagues who get sick and die in the epidemic abroad, and while this situation reduces morale and motivation in the employees, we continue to make extraordinary efforts in this risky environment. We want the supply and distribution of our protective equipment as soon as possible.

3- We care about the measures taken by our Ministry socially in the current outbreak. While holidaying schools is very useful in this regard, we think that continuing health screening of students within the scope of school health program will increase the risk of epidemics. There is no diagnostic kit against Covid-19 in ASM. So the initial stage of the disease shows seasonal cold flu-like symptoms. At this stage, the patient who applied to the Family Physician has a very high risk of transmitting the disease to other patients in the waiting area. The patient, who comes with a demand for health, may cause the transmission of the disease to other households and the spread of the disease through them. In this sense, we demand that the existing School Health Screening Program be postponed within the scope of epidemic measures.

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