The license to fly in a perfect stormShivani Ranchod
Alignd has just been accredited by the Council for Medical Schemes as a managed care organisation. This is an extremely significant milestone for us, as we gear up to assist our partners and clients with navigating the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to this point, the Alignd.Palliative solution has been targeted at cancer patients. However, the current COVID-19 crisis brings together a perfect storm that accelerates the needs for palliative-based approaches. The palliative care core patient population – the elderly, the frail, those with underlying chronic or serious illness – are most at risk from the novel coronavirus.
Consensus among local experts appears to be that while the lockdown put in place at the end of March will delay the spread of the virus, we have yet to reach the peak of the pandemic. Acute pressure on our healthcare system is therefore still highly likely.
The word “crisis” in Japanese has the characters or kanjis: 危 which means danger, and 機 which means opportunity
We need to be ready for a scenario where ventilators and ICU beds are in short supply requiring doctors to triage cases, as has already happened in several European countries. This will necessitate that both healthcare professionals and medical schemes have viable alternatives in place. There will be an increased need for home-based palliative care for those patients who either choose not to be referred to hospital or who do not have access to hospital. It would be unconscionable to have patients dying at home without adequate support.
As ever, the role of palliative care practitioners in the time of COVID-19 is to keep the “care” in healthcare, even as systems, patients and providers are under siege. Our colleagues and network partners at Palprac have put together extensive clinical guidelines for providing palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic, across both in and out of hospital settings. They have also summarised the home-based care guidelines here.
How we can assist during the COVID-19 pandemic
1. We can fast-track comprehensive and cost-effective cover for palliative care offered by Alignd.Palliative.
2. We can assist frontline healthcare professionals to provide effective clinical and psychosocial support for patients and families affected by COVID-19. We can do this by leveraging our existing Remote Access Benefit solution in both urban and rural areas. This will enable virtual doctor-to-doctor discussions between Alignd’s network of specialist palliative care doctors and frontline doctors who are now faced with providing palliative care to their patients, but are neither trained nor experienced in doing so, especially in a home setting.
For any queries about how you can to join the Alignd.Palliative network, email our relationship manager, Emma Finestone on firstname.lastname@example.org