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Sharp drop in waiting time at AWH Paediatric Department, says expert

Sharp drop in waiting time at AWH Paediatric Department, says expert

CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
THE waiting time to get an appointment for children at the Al Wakrah Paediatric Department has reduced significantly, according to Senior Consultant of Pediatric and Neonatology Dr Khalil Salameh.
Speaking to media persons, Dr Salameh said, “About two years ago, we had long waiting lists and therefore, we introduced a system to minimise it. We increased evening clinics and clinics in general and also opened a clinic on Saturday. Now the waiting time is not more than 28 days, and in urgent cases, it’s less than 14 days.”
Earlier, once a child was referred to the HMC from health centres or private clinics, it would take them more than a month to see a doctor at Al Wakrah Paediatric Department.
Dr Salameh added that for patients requiring blood tests, they have established a paediatric emergency follow up clinic at Al Wakra Hospital, so that the case can be seen within 72 hrs.
He said, “The clinic receives approximately 50 cases per week.”
According to Dr Salameh, the Paediatric Emergency Department has also improved with great reduction in patients’ waiting time. “The waiting time has dropped remarkably since the opening of the hospital. In the Emergency department, cases are divided into five categories: the first is the critical case, which must be seen immediately without waiting and doctors attend to the case less than a minute after arrival; the second category wait for no more than 5-10 minutes; the third case is presented to the doctor in approximately 15 minutes; and the fourth and fifth categories can be referred to health centres because they are not urgent.
The last category of cases represents about 70 percent of the patients in Emergency, but they do not have to wait for more than an hour during peak evening period, or 30-45 minutes otherwise.
He said that they have seen that many cases come from Khalifa City or Al Rayyan Children’s Emergency to Al Wakra Hospital.
“This is as a result of intensive training for doctors so that patients do not wait for long periods. We also studied the number of cases we receive in each shift to distribute doctors accordingly,” he remarked.
He explained that they have established a quality system to ensure that the time period from the time of arrival of the child to admission does not exceed 90 minutes despite the small number of beds in the hospital.
“We receive about 40 percent of the patients from outside Al Wakra, from Al Sadd Emergency, Airport Emergency and other areas,” he said.
According to him, the Al Wakrah PED received113,000 children in 2018, approximately 10,000 cases per month and 400 per day, which is four times the number compared to 2012 when the Al Wakra Hospital was opened. In 2012, the number of ‘PED’ patients in the hospital did not exceed 32,000 children.
Dr Salameh added that there is also an increase in the number of beds at the hospital.

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