Coronavirus in UAE: What about my pre-booked doc's consultation?

coronavirus, covid-19, doctor's appointment, sterilisation drive, dubai health authority

Dubai - Health facilities will accommodate only emergencies and severe cases.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Thu 26 Mar 2020, 3:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Mar 2020, 10:12 PM

Owing to restrictions on public transport thanks to a weekend-long sterilisation drive in the UAE, the country's healthcare centres will be able to receive only urgent cases, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has clarified.

Over the next couple of days, hospitals, clinics and dental centres should accommodate only emergencies and severe cases, such as acute dental pain, pus infections, injuries etc, the DHA has mandated in a revised advisory to all healthcare operators in the emirate.

UAE authorities have urged the general public to stay at home over this weekend to allow the national sterilisation programme to take effect. The programme, which will see the sterilisation of all public places, government departments and the streets across the country, will be implemented starting today (Thursday) March 26 at 8pm until Sunday, March 29 at 6am.

Limiting home health care services and patient visits to hospital, the authority said: "For periodic follow-up appointments for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, or immunodeficiency, the patient is not required to attend the clinic or hospital, except in the case of extreme necessity. The hospital should allow the delivery of medications to the patient, whether at his home or the presence of a person on his behalf."

It added: "In the event that the patient's condition calls for examination, the doctor can use the telemedicine method whenever the patient's condition permits and does not negatively affect his health."

All other appointments, including physical therapy, chiropractor and osteopathy stand postponed, limiting it to the necessary cases according to the discretion of the treating physician such as (post-operative physical therapy etc.) that "do not negatively affect the patient's health" stated the DHA.

The health authority has advised hospitals, clinics to use the telehealth service to provide health services, stating: "Activation of telehealth service, for the time being, does not require a separate license, provided the healthcare provider is adhering to the authority's standards for telehealth service."

The suspended services also included using synthetic and compounding nutritional supplements and intravenous solutions that are non-therapeutic such as enhancing energy, anti-stress, loss of appetite, hair loss, anti-ageing, enhance immune and fat burning.

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