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Revista Médica del Uruguay

versión impresa ISSN 0303-3295versión On-line ISSN 1688-0390


FERRE, Zuleika et al. Health and access to medical care during the covid-19 pandemic. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2021, vol.37, n.3, e206.  Epub 01-Sep-2021. ISSN 0303-3295.


the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the outpatient medical care modalities and health care services in general. Since March 15, 2020, Uruguay has implemented changes in the health system aiming to focus the resources available and to avoid infection.


to present the results of the survey on health and access to medical care (ESAC) during the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Uruguay from March 13 to May 20, 2020. The study aims to present the impact of the pandemic on several aspects in connection with health care services.


the ESAC survey, aimed at residents in Uruguay who are over 18 years old, consisted of a self-administered online questionnaire applied between 10 and 27 July, 2020. The total sample included 1750 surveys that assessed medical care and health services.


the health crisis favored changes in the clinical practice modalities, what was evident in the significant increase of telemedicine, what was mainly defined by each medical institution. The survey revealed a high degree of satisfaction among users, in terms of response to the pandemic and the services offered by their institutions. However, it is worth pointing out that a high percentage of medical tests, procedures or ongoing or intended therapies were cancelled or postponed. In the case of children under 12 years old, over half of them received their vaccinations later than what was expected.


in the future, the health system must pay special attention to the way in which new consultation modalities are defined and implemented, as well as the maximum waiting times and the appropriate provision of services for chronic patients, to ensure access to timely and quality medical care.

Palabras clave : COVID-19; Uruguay; Medical care; Health services accessibility..

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