THE Women’s Hospital will move to the Medical City by 2012 as Qatar seeks to expand its health facilities, a senior official said yesterday.
“We have also lined up a number of initiatives to help decongest the overloaded system at the present facility,” Women’s Hospital executive director Nish Patel told Gulf Times in an exclusive interview.
According to him, the Al Khor and Al Wakra hospitals, when fully operational, will ease pressure on the hospital in Doha.
“For us, convincing the patients to use these facilities is a great problem as they are used to coming here,” he Patel said.
He said one of the major problem areas for the hospital has been the emergency department and added the hospital is adopting a Japanese module which is being used in the US for healthcare processes.
The official said to tackle the nagging problem of patients coming for non-emergency cases to the hospital’s emergency department, the Women’s Hospital is co-operating with the country’s primary healthcare centres.
“What we’ve done is to ensure that patients who need to go only to the health centres do not come here, so we can free up the emergency room and reserve it exclusively for emergency patients,” he said.
Patel said patients coming to the emergency department for minor ailments are being provided with information on health centres in their areas.
He said the emergency department is planning to increase the number of beds from five to 11; this will be completed within four months.
“When the five rooms are filled up, there is simply nowhere to take the patients and this is one of the reasons for the rush in the waiting area. We have to make sure that people who come to the Women’s Hospital are truly here for life threatening emergencies and to ensure this we have assigned each patient into different priorities based on clinical evidence. Thus we make sure the more serious cases are given priority,” he said.
Patel also said a new unit called the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit has been formed which will attend to women having complications within the first 6–12 weeks of pregnancy.
He said from April this year, the hospital will start an initiative, the first in the Middle East, called scheduled appointment to further reduce the congestion and waiting time.
“In the West, you hardly have an emergency department in a maternity hospital; here we have got that for many years and we can’t suddenly close it and say only people in labour should come here. It is not our plan, that is why we have to ask them to go to the health centres if the cases are not urgent,” said Patel, who was trained and has worked in various facilities in the US.
The hospital on average records daily 400 out-patients, 220 in-patients, between 120–150 emergency cases and almost 50 births.
Its intensive care unit also receives at least 70 neo-natal cases daily.
There are 117 doctors and approximately 1,000 nurses working at the hospital.
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