Post-COVID rehabilitation is necessary for patients even at the time of stay in a medical facility, and 20-40% of patients who have recovered will suffer from post-COVID syndrome, a number of experts voiced this opinion during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine. “Out of 100% of people who are sick with COVID-19, some 20% need hospitalization. Some of these patients need hospitalization in intensive care units, as well as mechanical ventilation. Rehabilitation for such patients is necessary even in the intensive care unit, especially for patients with artificial lung ventilation. Rehabilitation is also important for patients who move from the intensive care unit to the hospital,” Vadym Kerestey, the head of the rehabilitation department of the Adonis network of medical clinics, said.
At the same time, the expert emphasized that currently in Ukraine, very few rehabilitation measures are carried out in intensive care units, and rehabilitation centers do not cover all needs.
He noted that the majority of patients who had been ill in a mild form also need post-COVID rehabilitation, since patients have impairments from different systems. Patients often have tachycardia, lung problems, reduced ability to work, acute disorders of cerebral circulation, thrombosis, which increases the risk of strokes, disorders of the nervous system.
In addition, the country also has a demand for post-COVID rehabilitation among foreigners, the expert emphasized.
Physical therapy is especially important, he said.
“Physical therapy will accelerate the recovery of patients. Physical therapists teach patients to move, breathe correctly, determine the physical condition and the body’s ability to exercise,” Kerestey said.
The head of the department of inflammatory eye pathologies and microsurgical treatment of their consequences of the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Oleksandra Zborovska, in turn, noted that patients after coronavirus also need to undergo rehabilitation with ophthalmologists.
“From the point of view of an ophthalmologist, everyone needs rehabilitation, even those who were not sick, since we were all on isolation, which significantly increased the time of contact with gadgets. There is evidence that an increase in myopia in children is recorded. Therefore, visual hygiene and a dosage visual load regimen are of great importance. Regarding post-COVID rehabilitation, patients come with different complaints and need to be observed by a doctor,” she said.
At the same time, Vitaliy Usenko, the medical adviser to Farmak, noted that, according to the latest data, 20-40% of patients who have recovered will suffer from post-COVID syndrome.
“Post-COVID syndrome has been included in the international classifier of diseases. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has signed an order with a protocol for rehabilitation care for patients with coronavirus disease. It is impossible to implement the protocol with the help of one health system, and it is very good that rehabilitation services appear,” he added.
According to Usenko, during post-COVID rehabilitation, drugs that are used in the treatment of COVID-19 can be used, but only as directed by a doctor.
The Social Insurance Fund of Ukraine in H1 2018 sent 16,500 insured persons for rehabilitation treatment, which is 34% more than a year ago. The press service of the fund reported that the figure was made possible thanks to the introduction of the targeted medical rehabilitation mechanism from January 1, 2018. The fund said that since early 2018, the fund covers all working Ukrainians with targeted rehabilitation treatment, which is financed using the money of the fund. At present, 51 health and spa establishments joined the program providing rehabilitation treating using the fund’s money.
Currently the fund is taking care of over 12 million people.
As reported, since January 1, 2018, the number of health institutions sending patients to rehabilitation using the fund’s money almost tripled. Before January 1, 2018, a total of 456 institutions had agreements signed with the fund.
There are around 1,600 health establishments in Ukraine today.