24 hour primary healthcare centres help reduce number of non-emergency visits at Trauma Centre.
DUBAI: The introduction of round-the-clock and urgent care across two primary healthcare centres at the DHA in mid-2013, has progressively helped in reducing the number of non-emergency cases that visit Rashid hospital’s Trauma Centre, said a top health official.
Dr Alia Mohammed Rafie, Consultant family medicine and Head of Al Barsha Health Centre said that the introduction of the urgent care units at these two centres and the fact that they function 24 hours has directly helped in alleviating the pressure that Dubai’s Trauma and Emergency Centre at Rashid Hospital faces. “In mid-2013, we decided to provide 24-hour service and urgent care across two primary healthcare centres so that patients who needed urgent but not emergency care could visit primary healthcare centres rather than going to Rashid Hospital’s Emergency Centre which caters to emergency cases such as poly-trauma, cardiac arrest, strokes etc. Over the years, patients have become well aware of our services and we have seen a steady increase in the number of patients visiting the 24-hour clinics.
The two primary healthcare centres are capable of effectively treating urgent cases and are equipped with multi-disciplinary specialists.
Dr Elham Al Nuaimi, Head of 24-hour service unit in Al Barsha Health Centre said the service is of vital importance to the community because it helps provide better access to healthcare and geographical proximity and helps reduce the pressure that hospital emergency departments face due to non-emergency cases. She said the primary healthcare centres should be the first- point -of contact for patients except for emergencies.
Dr Ayesha Al Basti, Specialist Family Physician and Acting Head of Nad Al Hamar said PHC’s provides services including outpatient family medicine, child health services, antenatal care, dental services, some specialist clinics like ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology in addition to supportive services such as pharmacy, X-ray& laboratory services.
In 2017, the centres stared a headache clinic after studying the number of cases of headaches they received. A neurologist from DHA hospital and a family physician attended this clinic ensuring that specialized care is provided to patients in primary healthcare centres. The PHCs also offer preventive screening packages at discounted rates including women’s health, men’s health, adolescent’s health, smoking cessation package, to name a few.
In addition, the DHA primary healthcare sector regularly holds health education and screening programs for various diseases across its health centres.