Virtual clinics to diagnose patients in hospitals

Muscat: Online clinics have been set up in the Sultanate in line with the government’s commitment to reach to every single person having issues related to Covid-19. These virtual clinics have been introduced in a number of hospitals in the Sultanate in order to ensure easier diagnosis and safety of the patients and the society.

These clinics are aimed at reducing pressure on medical staff and preventing large gatherings at the healthcare service outlets. Patients here are diagnosed remotely, where communication between the patient and the specialist is carried out through a phone call. The specialist evaluates the case, takes immediate action if it requires urgent medical intervention otherwise he prescribes appropriate treatment through virtual mode. Now the facility is available through phone calls, while video meets will be next step, according to officials.

The Royal Hospital is receiving most of the critical Covid -19 cases with intensive care units, while health workers in the hospital are tirelessly providing the highest levels of care to all without exception. Through setting priorities they make sure that outpatients are also not neglected and they get health service as it used to be before the Covid-19 situation.

According to Dr Qasim al Salmi, Director General of the Royal Hospital, the health workers in the hospital have been prepared to face emergencies through disaster preparedness plans, extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with crisis situations.

“Soon the Royal Hospital will activate the outpatient clinics in cooperation with Information Technology Directorate at the Ministry of Health. In the beginning it will function through phone calls and then move to the visual communication between the patients and the specialised medical staff.”

Dr Al Salmi added, “We have reviewed the outpatients’ lists in clinics and surgery units in order to reschedule routine appointments so that the patients can be attended without any delay. For urgent patients we have coordinated with the reference hospitals in respective governorates to provide them with the regular treatment.”

Commenting on the readiness for the pandemic even before its outbreak in the Sultanate, he said, “In the beginning when Covid-19 appeared in China, we started training health personnel and staff on how to protect them and avoid virus transmission to them. We were keen to provide preventive equipment for health cadres, in addition to preparing special rooms for patients.”

He confirmed that Oman is in good hands and praised the services of many retired cadres of nurses and doctors from the hospital who took the initiative to contact the Royal Hospital and expressed willingness to return to work in in difficult times.