The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has announced that, with effect from April 4, 2021, all non-essential services will only be conducted through virtual consultations using both telephone and video.
"Given the current rise in COVID-19 cases, the changes have been put into effect as a precautionary measure to keep the community safe, by minimizing exposure for both patients and healthcare workers as we have a high volume of vaccination groups visiting the health centers. To limit the number of patients visiting health centers, PHCC teams will call patients to reschedule any existing appointments non-essential services by converting them to virtual consultations," said Dr. Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, Executive Director of Operations, of PHCC.
PHCC health centers will continue to receive all walk-in and urgent care patients including family medicine, dental and specialty services, as assessed by a physician. Essential services will still be provided, but at a limited capacity, and it is advised not to visit the health centres unless urgent care is required.
Face-to-face consultations are now only available for the following services:
PHCC successfully launched virtual consultations during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 by using the latest community call centre technology. "The virtual consultations proved to be an invaluable service for patients during the pandemic, reducing the need for face-to-face visits, yet still providing the individual attention, with a personal touch. It has proved to be an advanced and clinically sustainable model, changing the way PHCC delivers patient care," added Dr. Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla
Patients can access urgent medical consultations with a physician via telephone or video conference by calling 16000, selecting the PHCC option, followed by choosing option two. If the physician then determines that a patient is in need of a physical examination, the patient is then referred to PHCCs walk-in service at the nearest health centre or Hamad Medical Corporation, as appropriate.
PHCC urgent care services are available at eight health centers 24 hours a day. They are Muaither, Rawdat Al Khail, Al Gharafa, Al Kaaban, Al Shahaniyah, Al Ruwais, Umm Slal and Abu Baker Al Siddiq health centers.
PHCC continues to take preventive measures to control the spread of the virus. On arrival at a health center, all patients are required to wear a mask, show their Ehteraz application and undergo body temperature checks. Stringent safety measures including smart scheduling of appointments, the use of personal protective equipment, social distancing within the centers, regular virus testing for staff, and rigorous hygiene and disinfection protocols have all been implemented to control the spread of the virus.
Source: Qatar News Agency
Cover image credit: PHCC Qatar website
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