The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has advised visitors to its health centres to use the appointment system to avoid waiting outside the centres in hot and humid conditions in the morning.
Several people have been going to the health centres early in the morning to get an early appointment but have to wait in the open until the facility opens to the public at 7am. Some visitors had requested the health authorities to leave the centres open so that they can wait inside during the peak summer months.
When Gulf Times brought this to the notice of the PHCC authorities, the corporation said people can take prior appointment for their visits to the centres, using the dedicated call centre service (107) for all its health centres.
An official said: "This is the best thing to avoid all the inconveniences to the people. They can call 107 and book an appointment according to their convenient schedule. This can help them avoid waiting outside.”
The PHCC said it may not be possible to keep the facilities open before the operating hours. The official highlighted: “ PHCC ensures that all staff are available in the centres to start their duties right from 7 am when the official working hours start. Therefore, it is advised that the patients start arriving at the centres only from 7 am.”
The official explained: “There are certain risks if the health centres are kept open before the operating hours. It is a challenging to keep the health centres open without the presence of the staff as we might get patients with urgent or emergency situations. There may not be any doctors or clinicians to handle such cases. This is not an advisable practice and in case of any unwanted incidents, it can create problems.
“Furthermore, there is a need to protect our facility and all assets and equipment in the health centres. We have to avoid unauthorised access and prevent any misuse of them by the public. This cannot be ensured in the absence of security people as well as the staff,” added the official.
Currently, the PHCC is operating 21 primary health care centres distributed into three regions - Central, Western, and Northern. Many of the new health centres provide the wellness services in addition to medical services. The additional services include gym, swimming pool, massage centre, sauna and steam.
PHCC also offers preventive and curative services such as vaccinations and mental health services, cancer screening services, physiotherapy, dermatology, family medicine, vaccination, non-communicable diseases, antenatal care, healthy child clinic; ear, nose and throat clinic, dental clinic, ophthalmology and dermatology.
In addition, some of the modern health centres also provide laboratory services, pharmacy, radiology, medical commission, pre-marital consultation, home care services and physiotherapy among others.