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DHCA Alert: COVID-19 Update relating to gradual resumption of outpatient services

25 April, 2020. In line with national efforts to gradually resume activities in the UAE while ensuring compliance with precautionary and preventive measures, Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the governing body of Dubai Healthcare City, instructs outpatient clinical facilities and departments, and healthcare professionals in the free zone to note the below updates.

 

Clinical Services

  1. Resumption of non-surgical cosmetic procedures which include in the current stage injectables (Neurotoxin and Fillers), mesotherapy, thread lift, medical facial, laser hair removal, lymphatic drainage).
  2. Visits to ENT and dental clinics must be limited to emergencies and urgent cases, and according to the assessment of the treating physician. This includes acute dental pain, severe infections, injuries and trauma, orthodontics, root canals, among other conditions. All other appointments must be postponed where possible to avoid aerosol generating procedures from dental and ENT treatments that could risk public safety.
  3. Continue suspension of procedures relating to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) such as cupping, Ayurveda massage, Chinese needles, etc, and limit to only consultation with the CAM practitioner.
  4. Postpone physiotherapy, chiropractor and osteopathy appointments, and limit to only necessary appointments based on assessment of the treating physician (as postoperative physiotherapy, taking into consideration the patient's condition and treatment plan.
  5. Continue suspension of manufacturing and using synthetic and compounding nutritional supplements and intravenous solutions relating to non-therapeutic treatments such as enhancing energy, anti-stress, loss of appetite, hair loss, anti-ageing, enhancing immune and fat burning.
  6. Clinical partners are permitted to provide teleconsultation services without formal approval from Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR) and within licensed specialties. Such sessions should be appropriately documented, ensuring secure and encrypted network is provided to the patient at all times, and that the provided service doesn't negatively affect the patient's health.
  7. For periodic follow-up appointments for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, etc, or immunodeficiency conditions, the patient is not required to visit the clinic or hospital, and delivery of medications to the patient's home. In the event that the patient's condition requires examination, physical examination at the clinic based on the physician's assessment is permitted. Telemedicine can also be utilised provided the patient's health is not negatively affected.
  8. Continue providing home healthcare. All clinics and hospitals can provide home healthcare services within licensed specialties without formal approval from DHCR. This service shall be provided to patients. The home healthcare session should be appropriately documented with visit logs and medical records, and follow applicable infection control practices and standard patient safety guidelines. Refer to DHCR's Interim Guidelines for Home Healthcare Services.
  9. Use e-learning and distance learning methods for medical training activities, continuous medical education and medical lectures. 
  10. Continue to provide other medical and therapeutic services according to the needs of patients and the assessment of the treating physician such as paediatrics, internal medicine and ophthalmology, while adhering to patient care and safety standards.  
  11. DHCC hospitals and clinics to continue to send COVID-19 tests to only Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital. (Refer to circular dated 26 March.)

 

General precautionary measures: 

 

  • Clinical facilities shall work at 30% capacity (staff and visitors) to maintain public safety at all times. 
  • Working hours for outpatient services shall end at 9:00pm in compliance with the hours of the national sterilisation program, which begin at 10:00pm every day.
  • Child play and entertainment areas and facilities in healthcare facilities to remain closed.
  • Adopt a strict appointment system to avoid overcrowding patients in the waiting area. Ensure safe distance - no less than two metres between patients in the waiting areas.
  • Maintain minimum 20 minutes between appointments in a manner that guarantees sufficient time to sterilise all surfaces inside the examination room before the next patient arrives. 
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, and as per needs. In addition, provide sterilisation materials for surfaces and rooms.
  • Provide face masks, hand disinfectants and sanitiser at the entrance of the facility - accessible to all.
  • Provide hand sanitisers throughout the facility - accessible to all.
  • Conduct mandatory temperature checks for everyone entering the facility including staff and visitors. 
  • Deny access to the facility if displaying symptoms like high temperature, symptoms of cold and flu; this applies to healthcare professionals and patients.
  • In case of suspected contact with a COVID-19 case, carry out tracing procedures to check the date of travel and medical history. Follow relevant reporting procedures.
  • Keep a dedicated area to isolate potential positive cases, and follow the approved reporting protocol.
  • Professionals should maintain social distancing among themselves and patients unless wearing PPE. 
  • Clear protocol shall be in place to manage any cases with positive COVID-19.
  • Raise awareness among facility staff about compliance with rules and regulations relating to infection control set by DHCA and related health authorities. (Refer to the DHCA HSE Infection Control and Preparedness Plan.)
  • All health facilities shall contract a specialised company to conduct daily sterilisation of the facility. (Refer to approved list of companies by Dubai Municipality here.)
  • All clinical facilities will be subject to strict inspections to ensure compliance. (Refer to circular dated 6 April.)

 

Partners are required to comply with the aforementioned requirements; failure to do so will result in violations /penalties.

We look forward to your compliance in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Kind regards, 


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