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Ho Chi Minh City medical center mobilizes mental health specialists to support COVID-19 patients

Ho Chi Minh City medical center mobilizes mental health specialists to support COVID-19 patients

Tuesday, August 03, 2021, 16:47 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City medical center mobilizes mental health specialists to support COVID-19 patients
A medical practitioners in PPE talks to COVID-19 patients in an isolated ward in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Ministry of Health.

The Go Vap District Medical Center in Ho Chi Minh City has recently brought a cohort of mental health specialists to its COVID-19 isolation ward in order to provide relief for the pressured coronavirus patients. 

The mental health experts will provide advice and address the perturbation that over 400 COVID-19 patients are facing as they fight off the disease with no friends or family members around.

Doctor Nguyen Trung Hoa, director of Go Vap District Medical Center, said the support of mental health professionals is needed as the mental burden on COVID-19 inpatients is immensely high.

Acknowledging the issue, the institution has formed a cohort consisting of top mental health doctors and experts, who will enter the isolation ward to provide informed advice to patients. 

“Most COVID-19 patients look forward to having their issues and questions addressed,” Hoa said.

“After a physician performs their daily check-ups on the patients, a mental health expert will visit them to provide consultation and ease their mental burden.

“The consultation is proving beneficial to patients' mental wellness.”

According to Hoa, the majority of COVID-19 transmission cases fall into episodes of anxiety, panic, and insecurity when they are brought to the isolation ward.

This leads to several undesirable reactions, including self-imposed seclusion, which worsen their mental health and even physical state, proving specifically detrimental to elder patients with pre-existing conditions. 

Seeing the extent of the issue, the mental health cohort has offered in-person consultation, as well as live sessions via phone calls to share the burden with medical staffers in the isolation ward. 

“Many patients have shown good mental health recovery after these consultations, which helped them proceed with their COVID-19 treatment and cooperate better with practitioners,” Hoa reported.

Ho Chi Minh City has emerged as Vietnam’s gravest outbreak site, recording 100,557 cases out of the country’s total of 161,482 domestic infections since the fourth wave began on April 27.

The situation prompted authorities to put the city under a tightened social distancing mandate that forbids public gatherings of over two, bans non-essential businesses and services, and requires people to stay home.

Nationwide, the total number of patients has so far reached 165,339 cases, including 46,965 recoveries and 1,881 deaths, according to the Health Ministry’s data.

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