HMC’s Ambulance Service witnesses 20% increase in its daily operations

HMC’s Ambulance Service witnesses 20% increase in its daily operations

Publication: Qatar Tribune (English | Newspaper)

Hamad Medical Corporation‘s (HMC) Ambulance Service has registered 20 percent increase in its daily operations amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an official has said. Ali Darwish, assistant executive director of the Ambulance Service, told Qatar Tribune, “We have marked a 20 percent increase in our daily operations, including due to our responsibilities related to the pandemic.” He said the Ambulance Service is doing its best to fulfill the pandemic requirements while maintaining regular operations. ‘Due to COVID-19, we take up a lot of scheduled transfers -from the community to hospitals, from hospitals to hospitals or from quarantine to hospitals. We have allocated a large number of ambulance vehicles and crew for this job,” he said. Darwish said the Ambulance Service also supports quarantine operations with providing a supervisor to assist the management of quarantine and cater to the needs of people inside the facilities. “We transfer a patient from quarantine to hospital if the person is sick or his health deteriorates. The Ambulance Service also provides the Field Hospital in the Industrial Area with ambulances to facilitate transfer of patients from the facility to Hamad General Hospital or any emergency care centre,” he said. Darwish said that the Ambulance Service has another team the Mobile Health Services (MHS) — which supports the fight against the pandemic. “The MHS continues its normal community services, including supported discharge, providing antibiotics, offering dressings at home and caring for the housebound elderly patients. It also offers services at our fixed facilities at the Patient Recovery Centre — a 57-bed step down facility and Hamad International Airport (HIA) North-Node Clinic,” he said. The MHS recently supported the Ministry of Public Health in its Community Survey by facilitating drive-through swabbing of over 1,300 individuals. “The MHS is also doing Ports of Entry screening and swabbing at the HIA and Doha Port. It also follows up through telephone and home visits. A month ago, we held a large drive through campaign lasting a few days to support the swabbing of 1,200 individuals in home quarantine,” he said. Darwish added that the Ambulance Service staff are well protected and follow guidelines from HMC and World Health Organization to avoid infection from the virus. They use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling COVID-19-positive cases. “The National Command Center gives us the information about the patient, and the staff put on the PPE before going to the place,” Darwish said. ‘We also provide the patient with a mask and gloves to avoid transmission of the disease.” Besides, he said, the Ambulance Service also screens and swabs its staff. “We monitor our staff by regular swabbing and screening, especially the staff who come in direct contact with COVID-19 positive patients,” he said. If any member of the staff shows any symptom of the disease, he will be transferred to the HMC‘s staff clinic for further investigations, he said. He added that even at home, they lead a lifestyle that will minimise the chances of infecting their family members. Darwish has urged the public to stay home and give a chance to the Healthcare providers to fight the pandemic.

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