Patients that are a no show two consecutive times for their appointment at DHA facilities, may be given a third appointment as per clinic availability rather than their preferred time, said a high-level official.
A no-show patient is one who neither uses nor cancels their appointment.
Dr Younis Kazim, CEO of Dubai Healthcare Corporation (DHC) revealed that the DHA is considering implementing this system to ensure that patients adhere to their appointments so that other patients are not inconvenienced and the appointment system functions as smoothly as possible.
DHC found that almost 30 per cent of patients at hospitals and centres do not attend clinics according to their appointment schedule.
Dr Kazim said, “We have noticed that many patients are not committed to their appointment schedule despite receiving SMS reminders. This is one of the main reasons for long wait times at some clinics. The idea behind implementing this system is to drive home the message that patients should respect appointment times. When a patient does not show up on time, it also affects people who could have been treated instead of that patient. Additionally, doctors lose their valuable time.”
The DHC is planning to open additional clinics for specialties that are in high demand. “The additional clinics will either operate daily or as per the needs and expectations of patients. We will also introduce expanded working hours for some clinics,” said Dr Kazim.
Dr Kazim said that there are 116 patients in DHA hospitals who are long-term patients, out of them 70 patients are in Rashid Hospital whereas 40 patients are in Dubai Hospital and six patients are in Latifa hospital.
“They will all be transferred to long-term care facilities, which are equipped to treat these cases and are located next to the Elderly Happiness Center in Mamzar. This will reduce the cost on hospitals, as reports found that these patients can be discharged from the hospital (they are stable, not in chronic stage of their individual disease or condition, need long-term care by nursing staff and don’t need to be monitored daily by a physician). By doing this, the corporation will be able to open up spaces for patients in desperate need of acute care and medical treatment,” said Dr Kazim.
A specialised committee will study the current situation on a case-by-case basis and those who require more than two weeks’ stay at the hospital might be transferred to the centre.