The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has identified recruitment, internal arrangements, the development of new testing models and closer cooperation between public and private service providers as key to achieving this ambitious goal.
It also urged service providers to use rapid tests whenever possible and to develop processes to speed up testing.
The need to increase national testing capacity is due not only to the large waiting times reported by several large cities, but also to the looming influenza season. Testing capacity is set to increase from about 14,000 to 20,000 samples per day during the fall, and capacity-building measures will be developed in collaboration with laboratories and other parts of the system.
Health and medical districts are also urged to ensure that they have adequate resources to trace detected infections and to improve and streamline quarantine decisions to cut off supply chains.
The national coordination of tracing activities is supported by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The effort must be facilitated by the forthcoming launch of the contact tracking application, Coron Flasher.
Decision makers and healthcare professionals have expressed concerns about the additional manpower required to collect and analyze samples.
Lasse Lehtonen, Director of Diagnostics in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS), said YLE on Wednesday that HUS should be able to increase its test capacity to 10,000 samples per day by mid-October.
However, producing results in up to 24 hours can be a challenge.
“We had to find hundreds of people to do this job. Although we recruited 10-15 people each week, it took quite a while until we reached that number. What it means in practice is that we need to talk about the availability of resources with healthcare centers and hospitals, ”he said in YLE’s A-studio.
Minister of Family and Social Affairs Krista Kiuru (SDP) admitted to the public broadcaster that it is unlikely that one social and health care worker will currently have free time at work.
“How much can we demand from the social and health care system to make sure we can test enough people? We have no choice in this crisis other than to secure these resources for our own people, ”he said.
“Every municipality and hospital district needs to quickly figure out how to find these people. Most importantly, we need to force every nurse and doctor to work, including the private sector. “
Funding, he assured, will not be an obstacle.
“We don’t fail because of money. The cost of the coronavirus will be covered. When the national coronavirus strategy is based on testing, it means that everyone is committed to testing and covering the costs. “
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page