Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has announced a return to face-to-face appointments for outpatient clinics, as the country continues with the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the gradual return to normal, HMC outpatient appointments will be conducted face-to-face with physicians in clinics, the corporation has said in a statement.
HMC will continue to offer virtual clinics for some follow-up appointments or repeat prescriptions. Patients will be contacted by Nesma’ak about their appointment and whether their upcoming appointment is face-to-face or a virtual appointment.
HMC’s chief medical officer Dr Abdulla al-Ansari said it was the appropriate time to return to face-to-face appointments.
“Early on in the pandemic, we made the decision to conduct outpatient appointments and other services virtually – this was essential to protect our patients, visitors and the wider public from the spread of Covid-19,” explained Dr al-Ansari.
“As we start to gradually return to normal, it has been decided to resume in-person appointments where clinically appropriate. Measures will be in place to ensure social distancing and appropriate time between appointments.”
“Follow-up appointments – for example for medication refills - will continue to be conducted virtually through telephone consultations. We would like to thank our patients and the community for their support and patience during the pandemic.”
All patients attending appointments in HMC Outpatients Departments will be required to show their Ehteraz app status and have their body temperature taken prior to entry. Only patients with an appointment will be admitted to HMC facilities.
"If a patient is experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms on the day of your appointment, including fever or chills, shortness of breath or cough, we request they do not attend and call 16060 to reschedule," HMC said.
HMC continues to offer a range of virtual services via the 16000-helpline, including:
* Medication delivery: patients can also still opt to have their medication refills delivered to their homes for a small fee to save visiting an HMC pharmacy.
* Mental health helpline: a team of mental health professionals is available to support people experiencing stress and anxiety and other emotional distress.
* Urgent Consultation Service: people with urgent but non-life-threatening conditions can call the service and speak to a team of doctors who can provide health-related advice and information and assess symptoms.