Omicron: We must start to treat again and bring back the staff despite the risks, says the FMSQ

The current load shedding in hospitals, including the postponement of major surgeries, is prompting the Federation of Medical Specialists (FMSQ) to sound the alarm calling for a change of approach in the fight against COVID.

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“The disease has changed, the virus has changed its behavior. You have to consider that it’s another disease,” says Dr. Vincent Oliva, president of the FMSQ in an interview with Mario Dumont.

“We want a ”reset”. We want there to be awareness and that we ask ourselves if we are managing this in the right way. We have the impression that we are applying a recipe that has prevailed in the different waves, but we have the impression that it is not the right recipe, because the virus is very different, ”he elaborates.

Dr. Oliva deplores the fact that serious diseases currently cannot be treated, and that medicine is on hold, causing significant damage to individuals and to the health system.

“Omicron gives less serious damage, partly in patients who are vaccinated. I’m not telling you it’s a cold. People don’t die from colds, but can die from Omicron. When patients are adequately vaccinated, they will have pharyngitis, sore throat, cough, and that makes it possible to manage health personnel differently, ”he explains.

Thus, his federation wants to see the return to work of the thousands of health care workers who are placed in isolation because of Omicron, when they could lend a hand in the network.

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“When health personnel are isolated for too long, there is collateral damage. There are patients right now who are on the waiting lists and who do not have the care. We have to start treating again with different parameters, ”he insists.

Thus positive workers, who show few symptoms, are less contagious.

“Zero risk does not exist, recognizes Dr. Oliva, but we are no longer in this medicine where we will take zero risk. The risks are manifesting themselves in patients who need care.”

  • Listen to Benoit Dutrizac’s interview with Dr. Martin Champagne, President of the Association of Hematologist Physicians and Oncologists of Quebec on QUB radio:

Transfers to CHSLDs

To unclog hospitals, he considers that it would be necessary to start transferring ALC patients (alternate level of care) who no longer need acute care in the hospital, to CHSLDs in order to free up beds.

“It is extremely sad what we experienced in the CHSLDs during the first wave, but we are no longer there. The patients are vaccinated with three doses, the staff are used to it, they have protective equipment, ”he pleads.

“Our handling of the pandemic is a bit too cautious. The virus is no longer as virulent, no longer has the teeth it did not have in the past,” adds Dr Oliva.

“If you are told you have cancer and if you are not operated on your cancer will progress, would you prefer to let the cancer progress or be operated on by a surgeon who is positive but has no symptom, who is wearing all the protective equipment and who will not contaminate you? And if you’re not vulnerable and you catch it, you’re going to have very mild manifestations of the disease.”

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According to the Federation, it is a risk-benefit calculation, but it is absolutely necessary to think about it, and this very quickly.

***Watch his full interview in the video above.***

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