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Private clinics allowed to carry out swabbing for Covid test

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has issued a circular allowing private healthcare facilities to carry out swabbing for Covid-19 test and send the swabs to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) laboratories for examination.

This comes within the framework of its efforts to confront the Covid-19 pandemic, and strengthen the partnership with the private health sector, the ministry said.

The circular from the MoPH’s Healthcare Facilities Licensing & Accreditation Department, dated June 20, is addressed to all private healthcare facilities in Qatar.

Private healthcare facilities are allowed to perform swabbing for the following categories:

1. All patients with signs and respiratory symptoms, as per the case definition of Covid-19 approved by the Ministry of Public Health.

2. All patients for all admissions, including acute admissions and admissions for elective surgeries.

3. Healthcare workers in the private health sector, as per MoPH policies and guidelines.

4. Periodic testing of employees of other sectors, as per MoPH policies and guidelines.

5. Pre-travel certificate confirming negative Covid-19 status.

The healthcare facility is allowed to add no more than QR50 to the actual test cost of Hamad Medical Corporation.

This applies only for Covid-19 PCR testing, and other rapid testing is not permitted.

The circular lists the steps to get the ministry’s approval to carry out Covid-19 test in the private health sector . These are:

1. Co-ordinate with Hamad Medical Corporation laboratories through the focal point and submit an application that includes the number of expected swabs per day and validation of swabs used for collection.

2. Communicate with the MoPH training focal point to train required healthcare workers on swab collection and the use of Kashif application, after obtaining the approval of HMC laboratories.

3. Obtain the final approval as well as approval for the price list through the focal point for healthcare facilities licensing and accrediting, after passing the training.

Compliance with the ministry’s instructions regarding swabbing and dealing with suspected cases will be as follows:

1. Immediate isolation of suspected cases of Covid-19 in separate purposed rooms.

2. Allocate a room for swabbing of suspected cases of Covid-19.

3. Allocate a room for swabbing of other categories of patients (other than suspected cases of Covid-19).

4. Follow infection prevention and control measures during swabbing.

5. Follow MoPH guidelines on the management of suspected cases.

All patient data are to be recorded through the Kashif application as follows:

1. Patient information.

2. Status of symptoms and history.

3. The reason for requesting the test according to the codes upon agreed by the MoPH.

This applies only for Covid-19 PCR testing, and other rapid testing is not permitted, the circular, signed by Noora Abdulla Mohamed al-Mulla, acting director of the Healthcare Facilities Licensing & Accreditation Department, states.

Violating this circular will expose the health facility concerned to legal accountability, it adds.

Source: The Gulf Times


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