Ministry’s Directives for Dealing With Infection Soon

SHARJAH — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has assured the private sector to issue national protocol and medical guidelines for dealing with suspected and confirmed cases of H1N1 infection in a week’s time.

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Published: Fri 21 Aug 2009, 1:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:23 AM

Senior MoH officials announced this at a meeting with representatives of private healthcare institutions held at University of Sharjah on Thursday, where officials called on the private sector to share the responsibility of countering the spread of the pandemic disease and urged them to help control panic and fear among the public.

Khaleej Times had earlier highlighted the need for issuing clear-cut guidelines on various aspects of swine flu including diagnosis, isolation, treatment and hospital admission of suspected and confirmed cases.

“Patients have the right to decide whether to go to the government facilities of private hospitals for treatment. Now there is no need to go only to government hospitals for antiviral drugs for H1N1. Even primary health centres also offer Tamiflu. Many private hospitals are admitting patients with complications,” said CEO for Health Legislations and Policies Dr Mahmoud Fikri.

He urged the private doctors to convince their panicking patients, who insist on conducting tests on them, by telling them the tests are meant to be done only on those with severe complications. “All people with typical clinical symptoms should be given Tamiflu immediately as the medicine is useless if taken after 48 hours.”

In charge of training and awareness programmes on H1N1, Dr. Yousif Mohammed Al Serkal said it is important to tell home-isolated patients to return to hospitals if they develop any signs of complications. Dr. Fikri said the guidelines for healthcare facilities and practitioners will be emailed to all of them as soon as the new policy changes regarding diagnosis, isolation and treatment are updated by next week.

“We have a shared responsibility to face the disease that is spreading in various countries. We have to work together based on international guidelines and clinical judgement,” he added.

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