Concerns that vulnerable people under impression they will not receive Covid-19 care
Older people and those classed as having underlying health problems should be reassured that they will be given medical treatment by the NHS, according to South Wales East AM Delyth Jewell.
Her message comes following conversations with a constituent who thought she would not be treated if she fell ill with coronavirus because she is in the at-risk group.
The 78-year-old constituent (who did not want to be named) told Delyth Jewell:
"I had thought that if I went to A&E then they would only be treating younger people. It does make you feel like you don't matter as much. I thought that if I caught the virus no one would be able to help me."
There are concerns that other people may come to similar conclusions having read reports in the press that over-70s aren’t being given lifesaving treatments in other countries, and that a GP surgery in Maesteg had sent ‘do not resuscitate’ letters to patients with severe illnesses.
Following a discussion with BMA Cymru regarding the matter, the Association wanted to reassure patients that the doctors they represent will provide anyone who falls ill with the care they need.
A BMA representative stressed that not everyone who is ill needs life-saving treatment of course, and sadly not everyone who gets ill can be saved.
Plaid Cymru AM Delyth Jewell said:
“I was aghast to learn that some of my constituents believe that the NHS will not care for them if they fall ill with Covid-19 because they’re over 70 or have an underlying health condition.
“This is not the case, the incredible staff that make up the Welsh NHS workforce will do everything they can to give life-saving treatment to anybody who falls ill.
“While it is true that people who are deemed most at-risk from the virus should take extra precautions to try to avoid falling ill, this does not mean that they are not entitled to healthcare if they do.
“Every human life is precious, there is no hierarchy when it comes to compassion – the Welsh NHS is there for everyone who needs it.”