Mobile Clinics: home health services in times of pandemic

The initiative promoted by CMPC and Desafío Levantemos Chile consists of vans equipped with medical supplies and personnel who travel through various neighborhoods to provide health services to neighbors in their homes, and thus prevent them from moving to hospital centers where they could be infected by coronavirus.

Experts and authorities have said so: avoid leaving your home if you don’t have to. But health, especially in times of pandemic, is of utmost importance, and just as people should continue with their medical routines, carry out some procedures, get vaccinated, among others, it is also important to avoid going to hospital centers to prevent getting infected with coronavirus.

But how is that problem solved? With Mobile Clinics: vehicles equipped with supplies and medical personnel dedicated to travel through various neighborhoods in order to take care of neighbors, especially elder people, carrying out preventive check-ups; if suspected, take Covid-19 tests; vaccinate against flu; review their medical history; deliver medicines, among others.

The initiative was created by Desafío Levantemos Chile and CMPC, who upon seeing that some localities in the country – especially those in which the company was present – stood out among the most contagious in Chile, came together to seek a solution to the problem and contribute to avoid more infections.

According to the Epidemiological Reports of the Chilean Ministry of Health, delivered from March 30 to May 18, the Metropolitan and La Araucanía regions have been among the most contagious in the entire country, especially the Puente Alto commune in the capital.

It is due to the high numbers of infections, that the cases have occurred in more vulnerable localities and that they correspond to areas in which the company has a productive presence; Puente Alto, Biobío and La Araucanía were chosen to activate the initiative.

In the case of Puente Alto – the metropolitan community in which CMPC has been present for 100 years – from April 29, when the two Mobile Clinics were activated in the commune, until May 14, 544 coronavirus tests were taken.

In the case of the Biobío region, the Mobile Clinic was present in Los Angeles from April 13 to April 30, a period in which 31 PCR samples were taken and 299 medications were delivered.

In the commune of Temuco, La Araucanía region, from April 9 to May 14, 487 Covid-19 tests were taken, and 112 medicines were delivered, while in Loncoche, also in La Araucanía, from May 11 to May 14, 46 medications were delivered.

Today, the alliance between Desafío Levantemos Chile and CMPC includes two Mobile Clinics in Puente Alto and four in La Araucanía. The tours that they carry out are coordinated and established by the municipal and health authorities corresponding to each locality, such as the South East Metropolitan Health Service -in the case of Puente Alto-, and the South Araucanía Health Service and the North Araucanía Health Service, in La Araucanía, who also incorporate the medical personnel who care for neighbors, including paramedics, nurses and kinesiologists.

Who do the Mobile Clinics serve? The main focus is to visit nurseries for elder people, many of them belonging to the National Service for the Elderly (Senama), and rural areas. After serving this group, the clinics coordinate to serve children and centers of the National Service for Minors (Sename).

The work of the Mobile Clinics complements the work of the health service, and helps to decongest the centers and thus avoid infections.