Basic emergency.

Agripino Oliveira


The increasing demand of health care and lack of its accessibility, in the scope of the National Health Service, are the most determining factors for the use of emergency departments. These facts are reproducible in the town of Espinho in spite of its two emergency consultations working at the same time, open consultation in the primary cares and hospital unit for emergency consultation, twenty meters distant from each other. This study attempt to investigate the reasons why the inhabitants of Espinho choose the institution, based on the opinion survey performed during the first fortnight of July 2002. The purpose of the study was to verify whether the different perception of the illness severity was related to the choice of the institution by the inhabitants of Espinho. In general, the results have shown that the inhabitants of Espinho knew how both consultations work and their choice was a consequence of their expectation at the moment. The patient s self-evaluation of his health condition has proved to be a very important predictor in the choice made. Thus, the open consultation in the primary cares is adjusted to give assistance to the chronic disease, while the emergency unit is prepared for the acute disease. The patients were more pleased with the performance of the emergency unit, which may be used in interventions to improve some aspects of health services and care and concerning the resources of health professionals.

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