From the beginning of November, family doctors have greater powers. They no longer have to refer patients to specialists for tests, but can order them themselves. Patients hope that the new rights will help eliminate the problem of queues to specialists who did not perform tests but only wrote referrals. However, these are not the only changes in health care.
From the beginning of the month, family doctors have greater powers. Now, in certain cases, they do not have to refer the patient to a specialist, but can order tests themselves. – The extension concerns tests in the field of allergology, determination of the level of IgE immunoglobulins and tests from the group of food and inhalation tests – explains Joanna Zabielska-Cieciuch, a family medicine specialist.
In practice, this means, first of all, that the patient will not have to wait in line to see a specialist for this type of examination. This will significantly shorten the entire process. – Diagnostics have been shortened from several months to a few days or a few weeks – points out Zabielska-Cieciuch.
However, this is not the end of the changes. The next ones concern facilities that provide coordinated care services – a larger group of patients will benefit from the treatment. – We can also include patients in coordinated care who have not been included in coordinated care so far, and these are patients with hyperthyroidism – informs family doctor Jacek Krajewski, president of the Porozumienie Zielonogórskie Federation.
Coordinated care will also cover patients with prediabetes and those with kidney disease. Moreover, without the need to refer to a specialist, the family doctor will order a computed tomography examination of the coronary arteries if coronary heart disease is suspected. – Coordinated care has also been introduced for patients under 18 years of age, and rightly so, because such people also suffer from chronic diseases specified in the first basket regarding coordinated care: cardiology, diabetology, endocrinology and pulmonology – points out Dr. Michał Sutkowski from Lazarski University, president Warsaw Family Doctors.
Changes to night and holiday healthcare
Patients hope that the new rights will help eliminate the problem of queues. – The patient will not wander around different clinics. This is a very good thing – says one of the patients.
The changes also include night and holiday health care. The doctor on duty can now order a whole list of tests – including blood count, glucose, urine test and antigen tests. This is intended to speed up diagnosis and allow effective initiation of treatment.
– Even before the patient reaches the primary care facility, he or she can already be diagnosed with his or her condition and problem when he or she receives night medical assistance. Tests can be performed there and the tests can be taken to a primary health care facility, rather than having to wait some time for it to be done there – points out Dr. Krajewski
The regulation has been in force since the beginning of November, but most clinics need time to fully implement it and adapt to the new guidelines.
Main photo source: TVN24