DOHA: The long queues at many primary health centres here could become a thing of the past as the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has started introducing an electronic token system at these facilities.
The much-needed queue management system is currently being implemented in four health centres in Doha — Old Airport, Medinat Khalifa, Al Muntazah and Al Rayyan. The Abubacker Siddiq health centre will also have the facility by the end of this month, the SCH said yesterday. The SCH has partnered with Q-MATIC, an international company specialising in the field, to introduce the service. Sources in the SCH hinted that the service will be expanded to more health centres across the country in a phased manner. Preparations had been going for long to implement the new system, which already exists at the Hamad Medical Corporation and the Paediatric Emergency in Al Sadd, said the sources. The service is expected to put an end to chaotic scenes in many health centres resulting from long waits in queues to see a doctor, buy medicines or undergo a test. Patients scrambling for a chance to get into the doctor’s room is not an uncommon scene in some of the health centres. Source from the Doha office of Q-MATIC said the system was working well in those health centres where it had already been introduced. “There was some confusion among the patients initially. However, they have got accustomed to the system very fast. Now we can see people sitting patiently in the waiting area, looking to the screen to see if their turn has come,” said an official at Q-MATIC. The tokens are issued to the patients at the reception counter by medical staff who first look into the nature of the complaint. The SCH said yesterday that the new system will also help in improving patient care by evaluating the waiting time in various clinics. The software used in the service was designed to provide comprehensive data in this regard, it said.