Family doctors (GPs) on Tuesday said they disagree with the state’s decision to transfer onto them the responsibility of monitoring the progress of their patients who test positive for coronavirus.
The health ministry said on Monday that people who test positive for coronavirus will now have to refer to their GPs, who will be responsible for monitoring their patients’ progress. This concerns people who tested positive from November 20 and onwards.
GPs will be immediately informed should one of their patients test positive for Covid-19, the health ministry said.
But according to chairman of the scientific society of family physicians Andreas Polynikis, this task they were asked to perform is an administrative one and ought to be carried out by the coronavirus tracing team.
“The entire medical world is against this decision because it is placing a bomb under the foundations of cooperation with doctors,” Polynikis told state broadcaster CyBC radio.
He said doctors were asked to monitor each person not medically, but administratively, by punching data into the computer which is the job of the tracing team.
“It is our duty to deal with the medical part, why do they burden us with the administrative part?” he asked.
Polynikis also said this meant more workload for GPs and expressed concerns it would take time from serving their other patients.
He also said that while they were asked to monitor their patients’ process, they will not be given access to all the necessary information to carry out their job properly.
Polynikis added they did not appreciate the tone of the letter, and to phrases such as “you are obliged. We are not employees of the medical services, we are independent, self-employed doctors who have contracts with the health insurance organisation,” he said.
He added that this decision was taken without any consultations with them.
Polynikis said the state should reinforce the team to better monitor patients with Covid-19.
The health ministry said on Monday that the state epidemiological surveillance unit will keep coordinating and overseeing the general management of the cases at a national level, including giving the green light for patients who are not registered with any GP to stop their self-isolation periods.