Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should be diagnosed by primary doctors – expert
KYIV. Nov 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) – People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be diagnosed by family doctors, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine of Zaporizhia State Medical University, family physician, member of the board of the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine Iryna Voloshyna has said.
"A family doctor can diagnose COPD. There are clear criteria for when a patient will be sent to a pulmonologist," she said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.
The expert also noted the need to provide family doctors with spirometers, to make appropriate changes to the regulatory framework.
In turn, acting Director General of the Directorate of Medical Support of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Yevhenia Idoyatova said that the ministry is working on amending the regulatory framework for the work of primary doctors and will raise the issue of diagnosing COPD and providing spirometers at the next meetings.
She also added that the inclusion of therapy for COPD patients in the reimbursement program is dependent on funding and has not yet been considered.
"With regard to prevention, smoking is one of the main factors in COPD. The Ministry of Health is preparing regulations on the prevention and reduction of the number of smokers," Idoyatova said.
For her part, Director of the Department for Ordering Medical Services and Medicines of the National Health Service of Ukraine Olena Horoshko said that patients can receive COPD diagnostics free of charge under a referral from a family doctor.
"During the period of the medical guarantees program in the electronic health care system, 9,300 electronic referrals were issued to patients for diagnostics using the spirometry method. About 4,000 were diagnosed," she said.
Pulmonologist, an expert on pulmonology of the Department of Health of the Kyiv City State Administration, Tetiana Baranovska added that 25% of patients with COPD go to doctors, among them 75% with a severe course of the disease.
"The disease progresses very slowly. It begins after 40 years under the influence of various factors, most often the combustion products when cigarettes burn, sometimes it is the contribution of production, sometimes a genetic disease," the doctor said.