Since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Qatar, the health sector has been working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of Qatar’s residents.

Health centres

Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) announced on 13 March 2020 a number of precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19. Starting from 14 March, PHCC cancelled all appointments at health centres with the exception of Healthy Child Clinic, vaccination clinics, and X-rays and ultrasounds. Appointments will be rescheduled. Urgent care services will be working as usual.

Since 18 March, Rawdat Al Khail Health Centre currently functions as a test and hold facility for COVID-19. Services including all antenatal, well-baby, antenatal ultra sound and NCD appointments at Rawdat Al Khail Health Centre have been rescheduled at Omar Bin Al Khatab Health Centre. Walk-in patients are requested to visit nearby health centres such as Omar Bin Al Khatab, Airport or Umm Ghuwailina. All other clinic appointments will be rescheduled to another date as soon as possible and patients will be notified.

Muaither Health Centre recently extended its urgent care service to 24 hours of operation. The health centre will provide care for patients 24/7 for ‘non-threatening’ medical needs such as minor burns, sprains, severe headache or earache, dehydration and dizziness. The urgent care centre is led by a team of specialist doctors and nurses, including paediatricians, supported by pharmacy and X-ray services. The health centre currently offers a range of services, including family medicine services such as non-communicable disease, antenatal and postnatal care, well baby and periodic immunisation, well women services and school health. Urgent care is a comprehensive service, delivered by a specialised team designed to meet Qatar’s community urgent medical needs in an easy, accessible, quick and efficient manner. The urgent care service will help connect more people in the neighbouring areas to the health centre, such as Al Rayyan, Abu Nakhla, Mesaimeer and Al Wajbah, the statement adds.

PHCC aims to provide urgent care services at 10 health centres by the end of 2020. The corporation also provides 24-hour urgent care service at the Rawdat Al Khail, Al Gharafa, Al Kaaban, Al Sheehaniyah and Al Shamal health centres as well as Abu Baker Al Siddiq Health Centre. Other 24-hour urgent care health centres are expected to go live in the next 12 months.

Medical centres

Private medical centres are still open, running as normal. However, they have taken up extra measures to keep staff, patients and the general public safe. Doctors, nurses and other staff members wear are required to wear masks and gloves at all times. They are also adopting social or physical distancing practices whenever necessary. All health and medical centres are required to have sanitisers at their facilities, at receptions, and in every room and bathroom. Beds are to be cleaned and sanitised after every use.

As soon as you enter into a medical or health centre, you will be required to sanitise your hands, have your temperature checked and answer a few questions such as if you have a cough or fever. If you were not asked, there are signs to say, ‘Please state to the medical staff if you have a cough or fever.’

If you show any symptoms, the staff will respond with the necessary precautions and contact the authorities to have you tested or possibly, quarantined.

Healthcare professionals as well as the general public can contact the toll-free call centre at 16000 to obtain information on the virus.

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