“I have to call the hospital one by one…” Unsystematic bed allocation


Today (23rd), more than 800 confirmed patients were not assigned a bed. A high-risk patient who is over 70 years of age or has a chronic disease is waiting to be contacted.

This is Cho Dong-chan, a medical reporter specializing in medical science.

Last week, the government took measures, saying the shortage of intensive care units was serious.

[권덕철/보건복지부장관 (지난 19일) : 준중증 병상 454개와 중등증 병상 692개 확충을 서둘러 확보하기로 (하고) 중증환자 중심으로 병상을 좀 더 효율적으로 운영할 예정입니다.]

However, as of 00:00 today (23rd), there are 836 people who have been waiting for more than one day, and 99% of them, 829, are over 70 years of age or high-risk groups with high blood pressure and diabetes.

Even though the risk is high, bed assignment is delayed.

The staff in charge of allocating hospital beds in the metropolitan area confessed that the main reason was the lack of a systematic system.

You can only know the number of vacant Corona 19 intensive care units across the country, and you can’t know if they are equipped with medical staff and equipment, so you have to call all hospitals one by one.

The process of receiving basic information about critically ill patients from public health centers and hospitals and checking whether they are hospitalized relies on KakaoTalk.

It means that you have to watch over 60 KakaoTalk rooms at the most.

Mostly public health doctors are in charge of these tasks, and the Korean Association of Public Health Doctors pointed out that this is a serious problem.

[임진수/대한공중보건의사협회장 : 공중보건의 선생님 한 분이 전화통 붙잡고 양해를 구하고 그 병원에 받아주십시오 하고 할 게 아니라, 컨트롤 타워가 당연히 확보해놓은 병상에 환자를 넣을 수 있게 도움이 되어야 하는 겁니다.]

In addition, not only patient care, but also ambulance connection and patient complaints have to be taken care of.

[임진수/대한공중보건의사협회장 : (의사가) 환자를 문진해서 이제 판단하는 건 당연히 하고, 구급차를 배차하고 병원에 구급차 이송 기사 연락처를 건네주고, 그 와중에 환자한테 오는 연락을 받으면서 민원처리를 해야 합니다.]

Administrative manpower support is urgently needed so that doctors can focus on treatment and have a system in place to quickly identify available critically ill beds.

(Video editing: Yoon Tae-ho, CG: Jang Seong-beom, Seo Dong-min)

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