A total of 408,665 patients were transferred by the Non-Emergency Medical Transport (TSNU) ambulances to different health centers throughout the Archipelago in 2021, which represented an increase of more than 11% compared to the previous year. This service of the Ministry of Health is coordinated through the public company Management of Services for Health and Safety in the Canary Islands (GSC).
To carry out these transfers, the Non-Urgent Sanitary Transport Table (MTSNU) had to manage and process a total of 745,097 services in the same period, 10% more than those carried out in 2020.
Within the total of these services, the transfers of patients from their homes to health centers and their return are included, both in the case of prolonged rehabilitation treatments, radiotherapy, dialysis and travel to the Day Hospital, as well as for medical consultations, punctual diagnostic tests and discharges from health centers.
Despite this gradual growth that has been experienced during this last year, the level of activity of the pre-pandemic of 2019 has not yet been reached -period in which more than 850,000 services were carried out-, due to the reduction of services due to the compliance with security measures and protection established by COVID.
By type of service, the most numerous transfers are those carried out to take patients who are going to receive some type of rehabilitation treatment, these representing 44% of the total activity. They are followed by transfers to hemodialysis services, with 38%, while 7% correspond to scheduled consultations and the same percentage to transfer services after discharge, both in the hospital ward and in the emergency services. To a lesser extent are the transfers of patients to the Day Hospital or those carried out for diagnostic tests and radiotherapy or chemotherapy sessions, among others, which account for the remaining 4% of the total services performed by Non-Urgent Health Transport ambulances.
Of the total services carried out in 2021, 745,097, 92% correspond to scheduled transfers, which are those that are requested from the Non-Urgent Sanitary Transport Board at least twelve hours in advance, which represents an increase of almost 9 percentage points compared to 2020.
The remaining 8% belongs to the group of deferred transport services in which, due to the increase in health discharges that have been registered due to the increase in COVID income, there has been an increase of almost 30% compared to the previous year for this type of transfers.
In relation to the activity by provinces, the MTSNU managed 385,436 services in the province of Las Palmas, which represents 52%, while in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 359,661 services were carried out, 48% of the total.
To manage these services, the MTSNU has a fleet of 258 resources distributed throughout the Archipelago that takes charge of the transfers requested by the doctors of the Canary Health Service (SCS), once the clinical situation or the physical impossibility of the patient to make use of ordinary means of transport, according to the criteria established in Instruction 7/98 of the Canary Islands Health Service.