Since the beginning of the pandemic, Monaco’s Government has put in place a number of highly efficient medical services to prevent the spread of coronavirus and treat patients who tested positive and needed help even during convalescence after hospitalization.
On the 23rd March 2020, in particular, Covid-19 Home Patient Monitoring Centre started to be operational with the aim at giving remotely medical support to all patients with mild symptoms or in the need to be cared from home, waiting for the test or at the convalescence stage. Since then, a targeted team made of about fifty qualified medical and social science experts offers a constant skilled support in turnover seven days a week, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
On Monday afternoon, the 30th November 2020, HelloMonaco had the unique opportunity to visit the headquarters set on the third floor of Rainier III Auditorium building in the presence of H.E. Pierre Dartout, Minister of State, and H.E. Didier Gamerdinger, Minister for Health and Social Affairs.
“This service offered to the Monegasque community is something exceptional having an important role as an information and first assistance point to all citizens tested positive to Сovid-19”, underlined the Minister of State – “This virus, albeit dreadful, pushed to rediscover the sense of solidarity, in an extremely individualistic society, witnessed by all the people who work here starting with the volunteers of the Red Cross, retired and operational doctors as well as all medical staff who are here to bring their experience and expertise to the service of others”, he added.
As a matter of fact, this structure represents an excellence of the Monegasque health system that has no equal in other Countries. Thus, 735 patients have been assisted through it since the pandemic started with a continuous support except for a standby period in May and June 2020 due to the reduction of cases.
The Operational Unit is particularly efficient including Covid-19 Call Centre and the Epidemiological Investigation Unit with the purpose of tracing cases in partnership with the ‘Office de la Médecine du Travail’ (The Occupational Medicine Office) and the ‘Inspection Médicale des Scolaires’ (The School Medical Inspectorate). Nurses call each patient twice a day to know the state of health under the supervision of a doctor who intervenes in more complex cases. In case of need, technological devices enable conducting teleconsultations by specialists and trained volunteers who are equipped to visit patients at home for every necessity, supply of food included.
The constant presence of the doctors and the possibility of making house calls is particularly valuable in order to give the best care and advice, individually.
“We received really a positive feedback from patients who felt reassured with special regard to the first wave when most people were frightened by this unknown virus”, highlighted the Minister for Health and Social Affairs. “The very fact of being contacted daily to know how you are doing was of a great support”.
“By the will of Monaco’s Government, this structure was created to alleviate the health pressure of hospitals in the Principality and it has a goal of medical and logistical support” underlined Ludmilla Raconnat Le Goff, Secretary–General to the Department of Health and Social Affairs.
“In September, we realized that it was necessary to reinforce the unit combining all the services at Rainieri III Auditorium that offers all necessary equipment; moreover, we increased the number of staff with retired nurses and human resources from the Centre Médico-Sportif (Sports Medical Center) that is currently not operating”, she added.
Everything is designed to best meet the needs of the moment based on the epidemiological waves. There are currently 23 patients under the umbrella of Covid-19 Home Patient Monitoring Centre while 125 patients were treated three weeks ago.
“Luckly the health condition of most patients we have followed has not worsened during the support service although there have been exceptions that have required hospitalization”, concluded Dr Richard Manas, doctor at Monaco’s Sports Medical Center.
An extra psychological support service is provided on request by school psychologists to remain always open to any request for help as a result of a state of anxiety increased by social isolation. In addition, the call centre has already become a qualified point of reference to supply all the necessary information about Сovid-19 health emergency, medical treatments and the vaccine in the experimental phase.
Covid-19 Home Patient Monitoring Centre, built up in quick time, is the result of a forthcoming task force of professionals whom Monaco’s citizens can count on in the hope that the health emergency will be reduced in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, we must always remember to take preventive measures: using mask, maintaining safety distance and washing our hands frequently.