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Press Release

236 ERs Run Selective Clinics to Deal With Suspected MERS Cases

  • Date : 2015-06-24
  • Hit : 3421

236 ERs run ‘Selective Clinics’ to Deal with Suspected MERS-CoV Patients

- The Ministry of Health and Welfare unveils the list of medical facilities running ‘Selective Clinics’ to deal specifically with suspected MERS-CoV patients -

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on June 8, 2015 that 236 ERs out of a total 535 (equal to 44.3 percent) have created separate spaces called ‘Selective Clinics’ to specifically treat suspected cases of MERS-CoV.

- Selective Clinics are set up either outside ER or within a medical facility and they are designed to have suspected MERS-CoV patients see medical staff before entering ER.

By preventing suspected MERS-CoV patients from getting in contact with other ER patients, the operation of selective clinics will greatly reduce the risk of infection, consequently protecting medical staff from contracting the virus and making ER a safe place to visit.

Even if suspected MERS-CoV patients go to an ER at night or on holidays, they will be treated promptly in these separate selective clinics and be quarantined when necessary, and this will eventually prevent the further spread of the disease.

< Status and Operation of ERs with Selective Clinics for Suspected MERS-CoV Cases>

Classification

Emergency Medical Care Centers

Emergency Medical Care Facilities (Operation upon Registration )

Sum

National and Zone-based Specialty Centers

Regional Centers

Regional Institutions

Total ERs

23

122

274

116

535

ERs with a Selective Clinic for Suspected MERS Cases

22

87

109

18

236

Ratio

96%

71%

40%

16%

44%

The Ministry of Health and Welfare strongly advised the public to visit the designated ERs when they have symptoms suspected of MERS-CoV including fever, cough and pneumonia.

* The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s MERS-CoV Response Guidelines for ER Operators instruct ER operators to create separate spaces to deal specifically with suspected cases of MERS-CoV, offer necessary training and protective gears to ER staff, and put suspected cases of MERs-CoV under quarantine when they are tested positive.

In addition, the Ministry recommended the following procedures to medical staff in ERs before setting up selective clinics for suspected MERS-CoV patients in order to prevent the virus infection:

1) Reinforce daily monitoring activities on patients with respiratory diseases, with the special attention to patients with diarrhea, fever, and pneumonia.

2) Guide non-emergency care patients to other hospitals and clinics to minimize the use of ER and make most efforts to shorten patients’ stay at ERs as much as possible.

3) Drape curtains between beds to minimize the risk of infection.

The Ministry plans to guide emergency medical care centers to set up selective clinics before the coming weekend and it will unveil the list of ERs operating selective clinics exclusively for suspected MERS-CoV cases by end of the week (Friday June 12, 2015).

Meanwhile, medical personnel who refuse to treat patients just because they are suspected of MERS-CoV infection will be punished pursuant to Article 6 of the ‘Emergency Medical Service Act’, and Article 15 of the ‘Medical Service Act.’

* (Emergency Medical Service Act): Imprisonment of maximum 3 years or penalty fine of maximum 30 million won, 2 months of license suspension, penalty fine for the director of the hospital involved.

(Medical Service Act): Imprisonment of maximum one year or penalty fine of maximum 5 million won, one month of license suspension, and penalty fine for the director of the hospital involved.

- The Ministry strongly asked medical centers to implement strong infection prevention and control measures so that medical staff can focus on their job of treating patients.

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