In 2020, the demand for high complex care from international paediatric patients decreased by 29% at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during the first four months of 2021 the demand has grown again, even with higher figures than the same period of 2020 (51% increase).
It has to be highlighted that the demand decreased a lot from March until June 2020, during the crudest period of the pandemic in Spain. But since then, the demand for treatment for the most severe diseases started to grow again. As a result, the most severe patients that arrive to our hospital, for instance, pediatric oncology patients even grow in 2020 compared to 2019 by 6%.
However, it has not been easy to get families to Barcelona from the beginning of the pandemic until now. Serious international patients, especially children accompanied by only one family member, could travel to European Schengen countries only for humanitarian purposes. Getting a flight for them was also a major achievement.
The International Patients Department of SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital focused its work on solving the obstacles that the families found, wherever the destination they came from.
We have native-speaking case managers on our team who attend to patients who speak English, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, French or Spanish. Other languages are also provided for patients from almost 100 countries who come to our hospital.
In addition, in order to be able to attend to the arrival of patients, the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital has adopted different measures to guarantee a safe and COVID-free hospital.