Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Internal Medicine Clinic commemorated its sixth anniversary, a milestone that has seen thousands of patients provided with access to a model of care that is still considered unique in the country.

Dr Nasseer Masoodi, Vice Chair, Medicine and Head of the Internal Medicine Clinic, said the facility serves between 5,500 to 6,000 patients each month. He says the Clinic was established as part of HMC’s strategy to provide more outpatient care services outside the hospital setting. Dr Masoodi said:

“The Internal Medicine Clinic, which is part of Hamad General Hospital (HGH), was initially established to provide follow-up care for patients with chronic medical conditions. When we first opened, our primary focus was on providing personalised care to patients with specific chronic diseases. The model we use is unique in that we have co-located outpatient and key support facilities so that we can minimise the movement of our patients. Patients receive all their care in the same examination room, with clinicians moving around each patient. We pride ourselves on developing relationships with our patients because we understand that patients who have a chronic disease benefit greatly from an individualised approach to care. Our program is designed to both help the patient manage their condition and any medication they have been prescribed, and to prevent any disease complications.”

The Internal Medicine Clinic, which is in Building 310 in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, is staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes internal medicine specialists, endocrinology, diabetes, and kidney disease specialists, therapeutic nutritionists, pharmacists, health educators, nurses, and administrative staff. Patients are referred from across HMC’s general hospital network, as well as the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), Qatar Biobank, HMC Emergency Departments, Qatar Red Crescent Clinics, and the Mobile Doctor’s service.

Dr Aisha Al Kubaisi, Consultant, Medicine and Deputy Head of the Internal Medicine Clinic, said since opening in 2014, demand for the Clinic’s services has continued to grow. She says they provide comprehensive care to patients who have been diagnosed with chronic diseases and conditions that require ongoing medical attention and management. She added:

“While the Clinic was initially established to help reduce patient load at specific sub-specialty clinics at Hamad General Hospital, we’ve continued to expand. Today we are providing comprehensive, coordinated care for a range of patients who have complex health needs. As an example, we provide anticoagulation services to over 400 patients each month. And during the pandemic our service has also provided internal medicine expertise to the newly established Urgent Consultation Service.”

In March, as part of efforts to help contain the spread of COVID-19, HMC launched an urgent consultation telemedicine service to help keep patients, particularly those who are most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness, out of clinics and the emergency department. The physician-led service, which can be accessed by calling 16000 between 8 am and 7 pm, Saturday to Thursday, provides advice across 15 specialties, including internal medicine.

Dr Al Kubaisi said the Internal Medicine Clinic has improved HMC’s ability to meet patient needs, reduced wait times for outpatient services, and provided greater access to specialised care. She said the clinic is also a shining example of HMC’s focus on prevention-driven services and programs.

“Patients with complex health needs typically require a broad range of medical services and support. Six years on, we’ve continued to expand and are proud to be playing a role in helping patients manage their health conditions and gain access to important preventative care services, such as cancer screenings and smoking cessation services.”