The Emergency Department at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is planning a three-fold increase in staff capacity to cope with the high number of visitors daily.
A total of about 500,000 people visited the facility last year, with an average of 1,350 visitors daily. The number of visitors has increased further during 2010, a senior official of the Department has said.
“About 80 percent of the visits at the Department are non-emergency in nature and about half of them can be treated at a primary health center.” Khalid Abdul Noor, director of the Department said at a news conference.
Attempts to tackle the issue have produced little results. The official hoped that the problem could be resolved in future with the opening of new hospitals and health centres, particularly those targeting single workers, who form the majority of visitors at the Department.
“We are working towards a three-fold increase in staff capacity by recruiting 23 new consultants, 50 specialists and 80 nurses. The new staff will join the Department soon,” said Abdul Noor. The Department will have a total of 34 consultants, 180 specialists and 450 nurses once the new plan is implemented.
Currently, there are a total of 365 nurses who have to handle up to 1,600 visitors daily. They work in three shifts with 57 nurses in each shift. The Department has plans to recruit more Arab-speaking nurses to address complaints from the public in this regard. Currently, the number of Arabic speaking nurses number 50 while 70 percent of the physicians at the Department are of Arab origin.
The Department will soon have a full-fledged women’s section and a VIP unit offering high quality services and facilities. A new team trained in ultra-sound scanning will join the Department soon.
A new unit to handle minor cases will be ready soon and the number of beds for “short stay” will be increased from 30 to 50.
“The Emergency services in the country will see major changes in the next three years in terms of speed and efficiency, “ said Dr Muayad Qassim, a consultant at the Department.