Emergency pediatric medical assistance (PNMP) in Ljubljana notices that parents bring their children to them more and more often, even when ‘normal’ children’s dispensaries are operating, from other municipalities or with problems that are not urgent for treatment. This makes their work very difficult.
The season of increased number of colds has been going on since December, there are also a lot of sore throats. This year, the increased morbidity started earlier, usually in the second half of January and February, she said Tatjana Grmek Martinjaš, Head of Health Care for Pre-School Children, School Children and Youth of the Center Unit and Head of Pediatric Emergency Medical Aid of ZD Ljubljana. They are also expecting a peak in the spread of the flu virus among children, and she said they hope it won’t be as bad as before the outbreak of covid-19 in January 2020, when they had 78 visits in one night.
Since more children are sick, there is much more pressure on Ljubljana’s emergency pediatric care, which is organized in the health center on Metelkova Street. Major problems, which make it difficult for them to carry out their regular work well, are caused by parents who drive their children there outside of working hours.
Emergency pediatric medical assistance operates from 7 p.m
The Pediatric Emergency Medical Service (PNMP) operates at night from 7 p.m., and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. “But because Metelkova has become so infamous, she has become synonymous with an all-day emergency visit to the pediatrician,” explained the head of the PNMP. However, emergency assistance does not work during the day, pediatric units in medical centers are in charge of it.
Thus, parents with children come to them because their pediatrician works in the afternoon or morning, and they would like an examination right away, parents with children who were rejected at the emergency room because their condition does not require urgent treatment, then children who have a chosen pediatrician- concessionaire, namely “despite the agreement that concessionaires cover each other during the day,” said doctor Grmek Martinjaš.
“This puts the employees in dire straits, because the nurse still has to triage them, leave her clinic and do it, because if it’s an emergency, they still examine the child, even though they have other doctors for that during the day,” she emphasized. By 11 a.m. today, they already had three such cases.
During the day, all children’s and school dispensaries of individual units of ZD Ljubljana are in charge of children’s emergencies. Therefore, parents should first contact the dispensary where the child has a chosen pediatrician. If his pediatrician worked in the morning, for example, the child will be examined by another pediatrician in this health center. During the day, only those children who do not have their own personal doctor, foreigners and tourists should contact the Pediatric Emergency Medical Service.
You can also get advice over the phone
The doctor also recommends that parents first call the PNMP’s phone number, as they “a registered nurse can give excellent advice. I myself would like not to drive my child around Ljubljana in the middle of the night, unless it is really necessary.” The nurse, too Erika Verbič she confirmed that they give advice by phone, but that parents should call several times, as they do not have a special staff member who only answers phone calls, but they do this while performing other necessary work in the clinic.
Parents contact the PNMP clinic in around 80 percent of non-emergency cases.
“The municipality of Ljubljana cannot finance this for all the others”
Tatjana Grmek Martinjaš adds that there will probably be no personnel reinforcements in the PNMP, as it is a service of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the number of personnel is sufficient for the needs of the MOL. “Considering the increased inflow from elsewhere, the municipality of Ljubljana cannot afford to finance this for all the others,” she added. Parents from surrounding municipalities, such as Vrhnika, Grosuplje, Ivančna Gorica, Kamnik and Ribnica, are increasingly turning to their urgent help, where they should have their own on-call service.
As a long-term solution, she therefore highlighted the introduction of pediatric emergency medical assistance during the day as part of the pediatric emergency center. But the emergency center in Ljubljana must start work first. According to the agreement between Health Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan and Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković, UKC Ljubljana and ZD Ljubljana will jointly establish this in the premises of the Ljubljana emergency room.