HMC to start new urgent neurology, sub-specialty clinics soon.
CATHERINE W GICHUKI DOHA The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Neurology Department will soon start an urgent neurology clinic as well as subspecialty clinics, an official has said. Recently, the department introduced urgent neurology spots to utilise the slots of the patients who do not show up for their appointments (no show). Speaking to media persons, Hamad General Hospital Head of Neurology and Senior Consultant, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Neurology at the University of Alberta in Canada and Professor of Clinical Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Dr Maher Saqqur said the urgent neurology clinics would start in two months time. "The idea behind the urgent neurology spot is to utilise the time of patients who do not show up for their appointments. We utilised this 'no show' by assigning it for urgent neurology patients," Dr Saqqur said, adding that there is usually a 10 to 20 percent no show from among 10 patients. According to him, the urgent neurology spots are a system to assign patients on slots of absent patients. "In the urgent neurology spot, there are 15 to 20 spots every week, which is an average of three to four clinics per weeks. These patients come from Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health centres or emergency," he said. About five percent of the cases they receive on referrals from neurology triage, health centres or the emergency department are urgent. "These cases need to be seen urgently either for sub-acute symptoms such as lower back pain, severe headaches, new onset headaches, new onset numbness, new visual loss or new onset speech problem," he said. The rest of the cases seen at the urgent neurology spot include those with headache, back pain, multiple sclerosis, and vertigo among other neurological problems. "In any neurology clinic, we assign extra urgent neurology patients to fill in the slots of those who did not attend their follow-up appointments," he said. Dr Saqqur added, "Once the urgent neurology clinic starts in two months time, the urgent neurology spot will be part of each clinic. In any given neurology clinic, one urgent spot compensates for no show." According to him, they are also in the process of building subspecialty clinics. "We already have excellent stroke programmes and we are building up the epilepsy very well. We are also building a multiple sclerosis programme and headache clinics," he said. Dr Saqqur explained that in neurology, cases are divided into acute, sub-acute and chronic ones. The acute cases and sub-acute are seen in the emergency room in Qatar. "These two categories of cases are seen in the emergency room and get admitted to the hospital. The sub-acute can include walk-inpatients or those to be admitted for emergency investigations," he said, adding that the sub-acute cases that can be managed at the out-patient get seen urgently. He said the signs and symptoms acute cases include weakness, and speech and vision problems, among others.
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