The Municipality of Burgas will provide health services through telemedicine to disabled and lonely senior citizens

The Municipality of Burgas will provide remote health services through telemedicine to disabled and lonely elderly citizens who are users of social institutions in the city. The proposal was made by the mayor Dimitar Nikolov and received the unanimous support of the municipal councilors today.

“The occasion was a specific case of an elderly person we care for, who is immobile and overweight, when it is necessary to diagnose a disease, because of the inconvenience of going from the 12th floor of the building where he lives to a hospital facility and because of this delay and it was already too late for the doctors to intervene. This was an occasion for us not to put up with it. I had a conversation with the minister and asked him to give us an idea of ​​how to take care of these people and he said that there are telemedicine pilot projects around the world. There are electronic devices that monitor the parameters and if they deviate from them, you can react. It’s expensive equipment, but it’s stupid to wait for the budget and we have to start somewhere,” said Mayor Dimitar Nikolov. “In the beginning, we will cover a smaller number and more severe cases of the elderly. I hope this good practice can be developed. The professors at the Faculty of Medicine helped us a lot. We were also given a hand by UMBAL Burgas, who will assign competent medical personnel to stand on the monitors and monitor these parameters. The first step has already been taken. Hopefully, the results of this first stage will make it so that I will soon submit a further report for a larger-scale development of the project aimed at the people in the social institutions that the Municipality must take care of and thus reduce the difficulties with their treatment”, he added. the mayor Nikolov. The reasons for the project proposal are the increasing number of disabled and lonely elderly people using various social services in the municipality of Burgas, their need for consultations with specialist doctors and difficult access to medical care, due to their health condition or due to pandemic restrictions. On the other hand, telemedicine will allow providing the necessary access to special care, even if the relevant specialist is located at a great distance. It offers a convenient way of communication between doctor and patient, eliminating the need for a physical visit to the doctor’s office, especially during the period of flu epidemics, bad weather conditions or when the mobility of the users of the service is difficult. Social service users usually need help adjusting medication dosages, determining diet and physical activity, and writing prescriptions for medications that have already been prescribed to them once. Therefore, telemedicine is a good solution for the follow-up of patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol or arterial hypertension. The first stage of the project will cover a total of 1,000 users of social services – 850 from Home social support, “Assistant support” and “Patronage care” and 150 users of day and residential services for adults in the municipality of Burgas – Day Centers for Persons with Disabilities, Home for the elderly and Sheltered housing for the elderly. This stage includes providing the necessary conditions and equipment for the work of the team at UMBAL Burgas, equipment for the teams in social services to contact the team at UMBAL Burgas and training for the teams of the Municipality and UMBAL Burgas. For this purpose, a room will be provided for the installation of the equipment, the purchase of a telemedicine station /TMS/, located in UMBAL Burgas and equipment ensuring high-quality remote audio-video communication between doctor-patient and transfer of health data in real time via TMS, etc. .name medcase – briefcase with medical tools for collecting and sending health status data. In addition to the new technology, which should ensure the beginning of telemedicine in Burgas, standard medical equipment will also be used, such as a pulse oximeter, thermometer, blood pressure measuring device, ECG device for measuring basic health indicators – blood pressure, pulse, temperature, blood sugar levels, heart rates, etc. The consultations will be carried out by doctors from UMBAL Burgas. The project was developed by the Municipality of Burgas, together with UMBAL Burgas AD and professors from the Faculty of Medicine of the University “Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov”. Using the equipment’s remote access, doctors can monitor and control patients and respond as needed. The advantages of the implementation of the project are access to a consultation with a specialist doctor outside the limitations of the specific medical fields, shortening the time between the appearance of a health problem and the primary consultation, improving the quality of health services, especially in the follow-up of patients with chronic diseases, security for patients in epidemic situations, etc.

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