What about primary health care data during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe?

Raquel Gomez Bravo, Sara Ares Blanco, María Pilar Astier Peña, Marina Guisado Clavero, María Fernández García, José Miguel Bueno Ortiz, Katarzyna Nessler, Davorina Petek, Ferdinando Petrazzuoli, Liubovė Murauskienė

Keywords: COVID-19, Epidemiological Monitoring, Primary Health Care, European Union.

The COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor to cover the pandemic describes a high number of cases treated ambulatory: for example Germany, 85% of COVID-19 cases were managed mainly by GPs (April 2020) increasing 6 months afterwards to 95%. In Italy, 156.5 per 100,000 inhabitants were home isolated and only 8.1% hospitalized (October 2020). However, there is no official European information on the activity of Primary Care (PC) during the pandemic. ECDC only collect data from hospitalization and intensive care unit admissions. European Covid19 health information systems provides a bias vision without PC data, having an impact on how the Recovery and Resilience Facility fund of the European Commission should be spent. In order to understand the PC role during the pandemic, we need information related to its performance.

Research questions:
- What is the real impact of the pandemic on PC in Europe?
- What is the minimum basic data set in PC that should be collected to have a proper picture?

European cross sectional study that analyzes the number of patients attended, treated and followed, vaccination roll out, and the impact that had in the normal care.

Current PC performance will be described and identified the minimum basic data set to collect at this level. This will help to define indicators for PC in the pandemic and propose a model of management based on that.

Although PC is the cornerstone of health services, its role hasn't been properly recognized worldwide during the pandemic and data is not even available in some regions. To strengthen PC, improving care and management, what has been done at each level of care should be analyzed, displayed it publicly and lessons learned analyzed. This will rise awareness of PC role, allow to relocate proper budgets and improve the management of future similar situations.

Points for discussion:
- How to provide a model based on PC indicators that will offer guidance to improve PC management in pandemics?

- How can we influence the ECDC to collect proper PC data, encourage European Countries to provide it and display it publicly?