The Neurology Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will soon introduce an ‘Urgent Neurology Clinic’ to attend to patients with sub-acute neurology problems.
“In neurology, the cases are divided into acute, sub-acute and chronic. The acute cases are attended immediately and the patients are admitted to the hospital. Some of the patients with sub-acute cases may also get admitted to the hospital depending on the condition,” said Dr Maher Saqqur, head of the Neurology Department and senior consultant, Hamad General Hospital, HMC.
“Some of the sub-acute patients can be walk-in patients who might be more or less fine. But there are some of such patients who need urgent care and need to be admitted to the hospital. They will be looked at the urgent neurology clinic which will be introduced in one to two months,” explained Dr Saqqur.
“We get the referrals from various hospitals and the health centres of Primary Health Care Corporation. On an average, 5% of the referrals are acute. The acute cases will have symptoms such as speech or vision problems or other others. We triage the patients and categorise them according to the symptoms,” said Dr Saqqur.
“If the cases are related to stroke, they go to the rapid stroke assessment centre. Epilepsy cases will be sent to epilepsy co-ordinator who will deal with the case at the epilepsy clinic. Other cases will be seen by the specialty clinics concerned,” he continued.
The physician noted that some of the symptoms of sub-acute cases are mild and reversible.
“There is about 10% no-show of patients in general all over the world. In case of a no-show patient, we utilise the slot as an urgent neurology spot. An urgent case will fit in to the no-show slot. In any neurology clinic, one spot is for an urgent neurology case, which will be compensated through the no-show patients. In the urgent neurology spot, we are seeing 15-20 patients a week,” explained Dr Saqqur.
He said the waiting period is about one to two months for chronic cases. “It is an acceptable period in any part of the world. We are also in the process of building sub-specialty clinics. We have an excellent stroke programme. We have an epilepsy clinic and several other sub-specialty clinics,” added Dr Saqqur.