Skåne must show rheumatologists how to pay off the debt. Nearly half of our members who have had care and rehabilitation visits and sampling have canceled or have canceled themselves during the pandemic. To a large extent, it has been postponed indefinitely.
This is an opinion text on Ystads Allehanda. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
As a result, 36% reported that their health had deteriorated.
In April, we conducted a survey about how members feel and what they receive in healthcare during the pandemic.
The nationwide survey, with 267 responses from Skåne, we have a good picture of the situation. Admittedly, Skåne’s rheumatic care has fared slightly better than the rest of the country, but the situation remains serious, there are few examples.
30 percent believe they have not received the care they need. Even 22 percent avoided emergency care visits. In addition, many of them have had their rehabilitation canceled, and 19 percent of care has been cancelled. This is serious.
To understand how seriously one must know that treating rheumatism is often a team effort, in which, among other things, rheumatologists, physical therapists, counselors, occupational therapists, and nurses work together to provide the best care and treatment for the patient.
For many, this rehabilitative care is critical so that their medical condition does not worsen, with an increased risk of developing various consequences.
Missed care visits may also run the risk of discovering a newly discovered rheumatic disease later. The longer a person with rheumatic disease remains without specific treatment for diagnosis, the higher the risk of permanent disabilities and injuries.
In the fall, health care that is put in place with huge debts for overtime will begin to reduce “care debt.” It already existed before the pandemic.
At the same time, it will be burdened with a large group of “post-Covid patients”. This applies not least to rehabilitation!
I am very concerned that it is the chronically ill patients who will pull the shortest straw. They haven’t made a fuss during the pandemic and may appear to be able to put off their care.
So I urge Skåne to provide a plan as soon as possible for how to balance rheumatism care again. It’s the fault of all those who pay for the area’s care debt with excruciating pain, poor mobility, and concerns about permanent injuries and disabilities.
Kerstin Lövgren, Head of the Rheumatology District in Skåne
Lotta Haakansson, President of the Swedish Rheumatology Association