Changes in medical environment are wearing of masks (68%) and decrease of patients with cold (50%), concern on financial and employment difficulties (97.4%)
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Eight out of ten South Korean medical doctors predict that the outbreak of COVID-19 will continue until year-end through next year, or become endemic without an end.
MEDI:GATE NEWS, a medical journal, released the results of a survey on COVID-19 conducted for 1,520 members of the doctor portal Medigate on the 13th. This survey was done to find out the end point of COVID-19 as predicted by the doctors and its effect on the future medical environments.
On the question regarding the end point of COVID-19, the most answers were ‘it will continue until the year-end,’ 39.5% (600 respondents). The next was it will not end (endemic), 29.2% (443 respondents). Following after those were the first half of this year, 18.1% (274 respondents), the next year, 10.5% (160 respondents), and don’t know, 2.7% (41 respondents). The combined response ratio of until the year-end, next year, and endemic accounted for 79.2%.
The degree to which doctors are concerned about the management difficulties (self-employed physicians) or the employment difficulties (employed physicians) due to the decrease of patients is 'much worried' at 71.6% (1088 respondents) and 'slightly worried' at 25.8% (392 respondents) and the combined rate of those two as ‘worried’ accounted for the most at 97.4%. The rest of the respondents said, 'I'm not worried'only at 2.6%.
Regarding the 'risk of infection and the possibility of compulsory self-isolation' due to the visit of confirmed patients showed 97.6% as concerned, and only 2.4% of the respondents said that they are not concerned.
When the doctors were asked about what will change the most in the medical environment (with the possibility of multiple responses) after the pandemic, 68% (1029 respondents) responded that ‘the medical staffs are mandated to wear masks in the hospital.’
Also, 50% (757 respondents) responded that that the patients with colds, influenza, and chronic diseasewill decrease, 40% (609 persons) said mandatory examination of the COVID 19 before admission or operation, 38% (574 respondents) indicated mandatory visit to the screening center of the patients with respiratory symptoms, COVID19 symptoms before admission or operationcorona19 test before hospitalization or surgery, and 37% (563 respondents) said the increase of prescriptions through a phone and a proxyfor the patients with minor symptoms.
On the question of the support measures (with the possibility of multiple responses) necessary for medical institutions directly damaged by COVID19, 69% (1051 respondents) said compensation on the lock down of hospitals or financial damages caused by the pandemic and 53%(806 respondents) said subsidy for overcoming financial difficulties and issues with unemployment.
The next were reduction of rental feeor support measures at 53% (806 respondents), emergency loan support in case of unemployment crisis due to the closing of hospitals at 40% (601 respondents), and the support of the protective equipment such as masks and productive clothingat 35% (534 respondents).
Doctors believe that the most needed policy to improve prevention after the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting entry to Korea in case of an outbreak of infectious disease from the overseas and enforcing the punishments on the violation of self-isolation, 34.9% (531 respondents). The next were investments in developing medicine and vaccine, 22.4% (341 respondents), improving public function of the public hospitals and public health centers, 18.8% (285 respondents),re-examination of infection control systems in medical institutions, 12.9%(196 respondents), and establishments of specialized hospitals for infectious diseases, 10.5%(160 respondents).
By Sol Im
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