Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe held a videoconference with medical professionals from five medical universities, the in-charge of the National Health Laboratory, hospital superintendents, and head nurses on COVID-19 surgical safety yesterday.
During the meeting, Dr Myint Htwe said that while COVID-19 is not a surgical disease, it is necessary to ensure the safety of patients in surgery during the current pandemic in addition to the well-being of the surgeon, anesthetist and nurses performing the surgery so that the disease is not transmitted.
The Union Minister said drafting guidelines and regulations for safe surgery with COVID-19 is a good idea as is forming a group consisting of numerous medical professionals to finalize the drafts. He said to continue professional discussion and exchange of information through videoconferences and to adapt international COVID-19 surgical safety guidelines to Myanmar and to distribute them to medical professionals across the states and regions.
The Union Minister said that as the natural history of COVID-19 is not fully understood, everyone should be extremely careful to follow the guidelines for performing surgery when operating on people who are either suspected of having the disease or confirmed.
The Union Minister said hospitals will have to properly plan on whether a non-emergency surgery should be performed during the pandemic and to ensure there is no crowding of patients. He said medical equipment supplied by the ministry and private donors will be useful for COVID-19 and other cases in the long-term.
The Union Minister said they have detailed plans to receive suggestions from medical professionals from all branches of medicine on the types of medicine and equipment the ministry should purchase in the 2020-2021 financial year. He said the distribution of them would also be decided by factors such as the rate of disease occurrences.
The rector of the University of Medicine – 1 (Yangon), Prof Dr Zaw Wai Soe, reported the formation of a group for creating a national guidebook on COVID-19 surgical safety and its progress. The meeting then discussed procedures and precautions to follow before, during and after a surgery to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe, Deputy Minister Dr Mya Lay Sein, Permanent Secretary Prof Dr Thet Khine Win, Director-General Dr Thar Tun Kyaw of the Union Minister’s office, and officials then responded to the suggestions and discussions. —MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)