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by | Mar 4, 2021 | Press Releases

Press Release: Out of hospital procedures on the rise as patients avoid hospitals amid Covid-19

Diagnostic Imaging Specialists, Keystone Radiology, says it has witnessed a sharp rise in out-of-hospital radiology visits over the last few weeks, as patients consciously avoid visiting hospitals to have these treatments. Dr Pieter Henning says patients and referring doctors are more frequently making use of the out-of-hospital options, specifically over fears of contracting Covid-19 at hospital facilities, and because they enjoy the convenience of these locations. Hospitals had to implement more stringent access protocols due to the fact that they are the port of call for sick patients, many who are Covid-patients. Henning says this uptake in out-of-hospital treatments is directly related to the increase of patients during the second wave of the pandemic, which has seen hospitals and medical facilities around the country flooded by new intakes.

When concerns about being infected by the coronavirus encourages people to stay physically distant, that’s healthy. When those fears drive ailing people away from seeking medical attention or going for regular check-ups and health screenings or critical healthcare, though, that could be dangerous. There has been a serious drop in patients going for regular health screenings, with a 50% drop in mammographic screenings at hospitals during this period. This is extremely dangerous as this could result in patients only being diagnosed with serious conditions at a much later or advance stage of illness, which in turn will limit the treatment options and increase the morality risk.  To such people we need to say; there are alternative routes to explore.  and we have definitely witnessed a rise in the number of patients who are making use of our outpatient options,’ Henning says.

Henning says regulations around Covid-19 have seen many surgeries being cancelled and there has also been a disruption of normal surgical care pathways which include symptom awareness, presentation to primary levels of care, diagnosis, pre-operative assessment, surgical procedures and post-operative recovery and rehabilitation.

Outpatient clinics at hospitals have been scaled down and have become more difficult to access, primary level facilities have in some places provided only limited services and patients themselves have avoided hospitals out of fear of contracting the virus,’ Henning explains.

Henning says while many are opting for the out-of-hospital route, others are not aware of the fact that they can make use of these facilities and receive the treatment they need. He says patients now have the elective right to decide where and to which diagnostic imaging service provider they would like to go to undergo their radiology screening.

There are huge concerns the world over about the impact of ‘delayed care’ amid the pandemic. At Keystone Medical we have worked hard to create a safe environment for all our patients by offering out-of-hospital diagnostic imaging screening services while reduce exposure to high-risk areas. These services include amongst others Mammography, X-Rays, CT Scans, Bone Density scans and sonars.’

Keystone Radiology is a modern and innovative radiology service provider, offering a convenient service in low-risk environments. Their state-of-the-art equipment and highly specialised personnel offer patients a fast delivery of both radiology services and reporting.

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