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New Guidelines for Patients to Access Cancer Care during Covid-19

The Federal guidelines have allowed cancer patients to access care even with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, cancer care teams and their patients have experienced difficulty in making choices about administering treatments, screening, and diagnostic care.

The guidelines provided earlier advised some care centers to postpone non-essential and elective procedures to allow medical professionals to focus on emergency and Covid-19 patients. The hospitals will remain open and provide treatments critical to patients and others who have no access to care from their local healthcare centers. Other cancer procedures, like cancer screening, will be rescheduled or postponed.

Patients have been faced with uncertainty following the directive since their scheduled procedures have had to be delayed.

New guidelines from the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are a welcome relief for cancer patients in some regions. Hospitals have been advised to ease some of the restrictions and allow patients to access non-emergency and non-Covid-19 procedures and care. These guidelines are intended to work hand in hand with other steps taken by the government to enable a phased-in reopening of certain businesses while ensuring a decrease in new COVID-19 cases.

Now cancer patients can continue to receive care when they need it, including telehealth services. Hospitals and medical staff will continue to provide clinical and surgical procedures and administer preventive services when necessary.

Hospitals will need to establish non-Covid care zones to screen their staff and patients regularly. They must have adequate personal protective equipment for their patients and medical staff. The social distancing guidelines should be enacted and enforced and have quarantine areas for those who test positive for COVID-19.

All public spaces, hospital equipment, and patient rooms should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The guidelines also direct that hospitals should have an adequate supply of medication, equipment, and supplies.

These new protocols will help prevent infection and spread of Coronavirus in hospitals. By observing them, hospitals will ensure the safety of their patients and staff while continuing to offer adequate cancer care to those who need it.

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