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ABSTRACT: To investigate the possibility of employing in-hospital care for tuberculosis (TB) patients in beds meant for patients with Class 2 infectious diseases and determine the obstacles facing the same.
We conducted a questionnaire survey of all 225 hospitals that had beds meant for patients with Class 2 infectious disease but did not have tuberculosis wards.
Responses were obtained from 83.1% of the targeted hospitals. Around 60% of the hospitals had used these beds for patients other than those with Class 2 infectious disease (including TB patients). Around 50% and 30% of the hospitals had used these beds for suspected TB patients to ensure hospital infection control, and for treatment of patients diagnosed with TB, respectively. In response to the question on how they would use these hospital beds for TB or suspected TB patients if the regulations allowed such use, around 60% of the hospitals answered that the beds will be used for suspected TB patients until their diagnosis was confirmed, and 25% of the hospitals responded that they will never use their beds for TB patients. Only 10% of the hospitals answered that the beds will be used for in-hospital care of TB patients. With regard to the reasons why the beds cannot be easily used for in-hospital care of TB patients, several issues were pointed out, such as difficulty in appointing sufficient staff for care of TB patients, and a lack of doctors who had sufficient experience in TB medicine. However, there was no single predominant reason.
To ensure that hospital beds for patients with Class 2 infectious diseases are utilized for in-hospital TB care, we need a flexible policy, which is suited to the specific conditions in each community and hospital.
Kekkaku: [Tuberculosis] 02/2012; 87(2):51-5.