HMC opens regionق€™s first Communicable Disease Center

The region’s first Communicable Disease Center was opened by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City yesterday.

HE Sheikh Abdullah, together with HE the Minister of Public Health and HMC managing director Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari toured the 9,000sq m purpose-built facility, dedicated to diagnose, treat, and prevent infectious diseases.

Tuberculosis (TB), respiratory diseases and other infectious diseases including leprosy, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, influenza, measles, hepatitis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus, among other emerging and re-emerging infections are among those covered by CDC.

In a press statement, HE Dr al-Kuwari said the facility will give patients direct access to the most advanced treatment options available.

“It delivers a key piece of infrastructure in HMC’s facilities master plan and helps to meet the country’s growing need for specialist healthcare services and faster access to care options,” the Minister noted.

“Working with the Ministry of Public Health, the Primary Health Care Corporation and other stakeholders, this new facility will also undertake a critical public health mission in the management of infectious diseases in Qatar and protecting the population from their impact,” Dr al-Kuwari added.

The event marks the start of the largest expansion phase in HMC’s history with the delivery of four new hospitals planned over the next six months.

The Center, an advanced tertiary medical facility, houses 65 single-bedrooms with sustainable negative pressure and 100% fresh air exchange. 

The building’s state-of-the-art air filtration and ventilation systems prevent cross-contamination from room to room and safeguard patients, staff, and visitors from acquiring infectious illnesses. In case of serious pandemics, all these bedrooms can be converted into isolation units.

CDC also features a bio-safety level 3 laboratory, which contains the comprehensive National Reference Laboratory for TB; social services to provide support and advice to individuals; and a round-the-clock inpatient services with specialist medical staff continuously on call.

The facility includes Qatar’s first dedicated and comprehensive Travel Clinic (by appointment) that enables people travelling abroad to get the needed counselling, vaccinations and other preventative data, according to HMC.

This clinic, scheduled to open in January 2017, also provides assessment and care for people returning with travel-related infections. 

Apart from its comprehensive inpatient services for infectious disease patients who need hospitalisation, the Center also has outpatient clinics that provide highly specialised ambulatory services, as well as pre-marital counselling and education for those with infectious diseases.

The building is equipped with an automated pharmacy system that dispenses medication quickly and safely, enabling pharmacists to spend more time with patients. It reduces any potential prescription reading errors. 

The CDC, which collaborates with the Ministry of Public Health, aims to promote and raise awareness about infectious diseases and serves as a teaching centre for young doctors, nurses, and medical students.

Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, deputy chief medical officer and head of Infectious Diseases at HMC, and the clinical lead of the CDC, said the new medical facility will be a centre of innovation where HMC conducts infectious disease research and where infection related statistics are also collected and analysed.

Dr Muna al-Maslamani, senior consultant of Infectious Diseases and deputy chairperson of Medicine, said in addition to its inpatient services and outpatient clinics, the CDC provides services beyond the clinical setting. Page 20

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