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Posted On: 26 April 2020 09:08 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 09:11 am

PHCC keen to ensure all patients receive health services without delay

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The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) confirmed that all health centres affiliated with the corporation are keen to receive all patients without delay.

The Executive Director of the Employment Department at PHCC Dr. Samya Al Abdulla indicated that under the current circumstances and in the framework of the preventive and precautionary measures taken by the health care institution, the usual work mechanisms in health centers have been changed as the institution has taken many measures to reduce the number of patients present in health centers to avoid congestion and reduce the chances of spreading infection.

She added that among these mechanisms the transfer of appointments registered in some specialties to telephone consulting service to preserve the public health and safety of patients, at the same time, the access to services was facilitated by launching other new services that contribute to empowering patients and facilitating quick access to services and medical consultations.

She explained that some important services continued for patients such as healthy child clinics and vaccinations, ultrasound radiology clinics, and pre-marital examination clinics that are currently available in Leabaib Health Centre, the Airport Health Centre, Al Khor Health Centre, the Al Rayyan Centre, and the West Bay Centre, as well as specialised clinics accepting urgent cases.

Al Abdulla said that all patients are invited to attend health centers only when necessary and in the event of an actual need for medical advice, and patients can obtain periodic health services through the electronic and virtual services provided by the institution remotely.

She explained that the urgent care units in each of Muaither Centres, Abu Bakr Centre, Rawdat Al Khail Centre, Al Shahaniya Centre, Gharrafat Al Rayyan Centre, Al Kaaban Health Centre, and Al Ruwais Health Centre are still operating at full capacity as usual throughout the week and around the clock.

Dr. Samya Al Abdulla pointed out that all health centers receive patients without prior appointments and these cases are dealt with in all specialties.

She said that PHCC, and within the framework of the state plan to confront the spread of the pandemic, 4 health centers have been designated as health facilities dedicated to examining suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), along with providing them with all the necessary medical equipment and required human cadres, which are Muaither Health Centre, Rawdat Al Khail Centre, Gharrafat Al Rayyan Centre, Umm Salal Health Centre, and these centers operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day, except Umm Salal Health Centre, as it works from 7 am to 11 pm, and work in these centres is done in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health where suspected cases are received, classified and dealt with according to the rules and the procedures followed in this regard.

On the other hand, Dr. Samya Al Abdulla revealed new and newly launched electronic and virtual services, which are the telephone counseling service, community call center, drug delivery service to home, electronic medical certification service, support for diabetics and their proactive treatment as these services come as a substitute for traditional face-to-face counseling with the doctor and to reduce the patient's attendance to health centres as possible.

She said that these services contributed to reducing congestion within health centers and help in maintaining a safe distance between patients as all appointments registered in health centers were transferred to specialised clinics and family medicine clinics to telephone consulting services and community contact centres.

Executive Director of the Employment Department at PHCC Dr. Samya Al Abdulla added that through telephone counseling services, health center doctors contact the patients according to their pre-determined appointments, where the doctor can see the patient's electronic file and diagnose the patient then put any orders for drugs or any necessary medical transfers in the electronic system.

This service is provided during the weekdays from Sunday to Thursday from 7 am until 11 pm.

She revealed that since the inauguration of the service on 18 March until 20 April, doctors called high priority patients, who had prior appointments, as 49,341 calls were made, through which the necessary medical support and required consultations were provided.

Also, Dr. Samya Al Abdulla indicated that since 15 April, the second phase has been inaugurated, where patients can now book an appointment for telephone consultations through the hotline 107 in most specialties, including dental consulting services.

The Community Call Center works seven days a week from 7 am until 11 pm.

She said that the Community Call Center provides distinguished services for patients who need urgent medical advice without an appointment, where patients can call 16000 and be transferred to the institution's call center, which provides virtual medical consulting service "call and video call" where beneficiaries get medical consultations required by specialists, diagnosing their condition, and describing necessary medications if necessary.

She explained that since the service was launched on 29 March until 20 April 20, 13,703 calls were answered and 4,531 medical consultations were provided by phone through specialized doctors, as well as 377 consultations on video calling, while the rate of waiting to answer the calls was a minute and a half.

Furthermore, the Community Call Centre launched "Chatbot" for interactive conversations, where it's available MoPH website, PHCC website, and Hukoomi website. It provides a self-assessment service for the coronavirus (COVID-19) through an interactive conversation that guides the necessary guidance on social separation and preventive measures.

On the electronic medical certificates service, Dr. Samya Al Abdulla said that as part of the PHCC's precautionary measures and efforts to reduce the number of patients in health centers to ensure their safety, the new service will allow patients to request a medical certificate online where the medical certificate is issued electronically through the PHCC's website, using the health card number.

She added that this service is available to all patients registered with PHCC who need a report on their health status for those with chronic diseases or pregnant women to provide them to employers during this period.

Moreover, she revealed PHCC launched the virtual diabetes clinic in cooperation with the MoPH and the Hamad Medical Corporation as a new and proactive step forward to communicate with diabetic patients and ensure their proactive treatment as part of a preventive strategy to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in addition to receiving the regular care needed to manage their condition as the diabetics are more at risk due to their weak immune system.

On medicine delivery services to homes, she clarified that the service was launched on 25 March in cooperation with Qatar Post to ensure the safety of all health center patients, especially patients suffering from chronic diseases and the elderly, where each health center set a WhatsApp number to communicate with patients on these numbers from Sunday to Thursday from 8 am until 2 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm.

Those numbers can be obtained from the PHCC website and official accounts on social network platforms to request the necessary drugs, as well as injections (insulin) and sugar measuring device tapes where the pharmacist will request some patient data to dispense the medicines and deliver them via Qatar Post within two working days of receiving the request. The service is available for all cases and priority for patients with chronic diseases and the elderly who need to re-dispense drugs periodically.

Dr. Samya Al Abdulla revealed that the number of beneficiaries of the home delivery service since the service was launched on 25 March, and up to now about 6,000 patients, where the average daily delivery of medicines reached nearly 700 patients.

Source: QNA
Cover image credit: MoPH Qatar