Patients suffering from flu without complications should preferably be treated at home, associations representing doctors said on Monday, stressing that they wanted “each patient to receive the best care in the best place”. Hospitals are now overworked since the flu epidemic has peaked, and this means more work for general practitioners.
The Belgian Association of Medical Unions, Absym, and the Professional Union of Emergency Doctors. BeCEP, have called on all general practitioners and emergency doctors to fight the flu epidemic together. Hospitals are facing extremely high occupancy rates and are forced, in fact, to resort to a highly restrictive admission policy, the two associations explain.
To guarantee that the worst affected patients can be directly admitted to hospital rooms or intensive care units, they are recommending general practitioners and emergency doctors to make sure each patient receives the best possible care in the right place. Patients without complications must preferably be treated at home, the Absym and BeCEP said.
To do this, it is important for the people around the patient to be involved and the general practitioners are well placed to activate such social networks. Emergency doctors, too, should use the same approach with people who spontaneously turn up at emergency services, the organizations recommended.
They recalled that it is the general practitioners’ job to evaluate patients while they are at home and if the clinical circumstances so require, to direct their patients to a hospital, where they will naturally be looked after.