Public Health Watch Dog Group Provides Plan to Allow for Needed Medical Procedures as State Moves Forward in its Recovery from COVID-19 Pandemic
Trenton – As Gov. Phil Murphy extends his State of Emergency Declaration by an additional 30 days, the New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance (NJDPA) is offering guidelines to begin resuming necessary medical procedures to patients in need.
“In the midst of the global focus on social distancing as the key response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have been suffering at home from conditions that need to be addressed immediately,” offered Dr. Stavros Christoudias, Board Chair of the NJDPA. “While all patients who have been awaiting surgery have been suffering, there must be acknowledgement that some have been suffering more than others, particularly those with cancer and unstable cardiac disease,” he added.
While the Governor recently provided his overarching six-point plan to the “Road Back”, there has not been any formal guidance or indication for when and what types of “elective procedures” would be permitted. As such, the NJDPA is recommending that the Governor, through his state Department of Health adopt the following recommendations:
- Immediately permit licensed healthcare professionals to perform select, clinically necessary medical procedures in all appropriate settings in select geographies, provided that each location of care possesses adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and staffing levels.
- Select, clinically necessary medical procedures should encompass those that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility or do not require inpatient hospital admission.
- Identify clinically necessary procedures as any procedure that has a direct impact on long-term health and on prolonging life.
“We commend the Governor and Commissioner Persichilli for their tireless efforts during this unprecedented crisis, and we are pleased that our healthcare system continues to decompress by the week,” offered Dr. Peter DeNoble, NJDPA President and Founder. “The physician community has been leading the way in developing effective office and facility-based protocols for universal PPE, rigorous cleanings, and in-facility social distancing measures. With the understanding that these measures minimize but don’t completely eliminate COVID risks, doctors and patients should be able to have candid informed consent discussions about whether the benefits of performing a particular procedure outweigh its risks. It is time for our leaders to follow suit with our neighboring states and put forth a plan that strikes the prudent balance between public safety and patient welfare,” he added.
About the New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance:
The New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance (NJDPA) is a Watchdog Organization that represents 350 diverse health care providers, made up of independent Physicians and Chiropractors. The NJDPA is dedicated to preserving and supporting the most critical relationship in health care; the doctor-patient relationship. The NJDPA strives to protect the rights of the patients and the people that provide their care: always putting care first.
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