PHCC Confirms Readiness To Provide Health Services To All Patients

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

Dr Samya Al Abdulla, the Executive Director of the employment department at PHCC stated 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 centres have been changed as the institution has taken many measures to reduce the number of patients present in health centres to avoid congestion and reduce the chances of the coronavirus spreading. Some of these changes include the transfer of appointments registered in some specialities, telephone consulting services to safeguard the health and safety of the patients.

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 Center, the Airport Health Center, Al Khor Health Center, the Al Rayyan Center, and the West Bay Center, as well as specialized clinics accepting urgent cases.

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

Four health centres have been designated as health facilities dedicated to examining suspected cases of coronavirus, along with providing them with all the necessary medical equipment and required human cadres which are Muaither health centre, Rawdat Al Khail Center, Gharrafat Al Rayyan Center and Umm Salal Health Center. All these centres operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day, except Umm Salal Health Center, as it works from 7 am to 11 pm, and work in these centres are 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.

The newly launched electronic and virtual services include telephone counselling service, community call centre, 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 counselling with the doctor and to reduce the patient’s attendance to health centres as possible.

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

Dr Samya added that through telephone counselling services, health centre doctors contact the patients according to their pre-determined appointments, where the doctor can see the patient’s electronic file and diagnose the patient and put any orders for medicine or any necessary transfers in the electronic system. This service is provided during the weekdays from Sunday to Thursday from 7 am until 11 pm. Since the launch of the service on March 18 until April 20, doctors have called 49,341 high priority patients, who had prior appointments, and necessary medical support and required consultations were provided.

Since April 15, the second phase has been launched, where patients can now book an appointment for telephone consultations through the hotline 107 in most specialities, 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 services for patients who need urgent medical advice without an appointment, where patients can call 16000 and be transferred to the institution’s call centre, which provides virtual medical consulting service “call and videocall” 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 March 29 until 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 time of waiting to answer a call is a minute and a half.

Furthermore, the Community Call Center launched “Chatbot” for interactive conversations, where it’s available on MOPH website, PHCC website, and Hukoomi website. It provides a self-assessment service for the coronavirus 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 centres 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.

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 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 March 25 in cooperation with Qatar Post to ensure the safety of all health centre patients, especially patients suffering from chronic diseases and the elderly, where each health centre 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.

Upon calling, 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 March 25, and up to now about 6,000 patients, where the average daily delivery of medicines reached nearly 700 patients.

She said that all patients are urged to attend health centres 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.

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