DUBAI, The introduction of round-the-clock and urgent care across two primary healthcare centres, PHCs, at the DHA in mid-2013, has helped in reducing the number of non-emergency cases that visit Rashid Hospital's Trauma Centre, said a top health official.

Dr. Alia Mohammed Rafie, Consultant in Family Medicine and Head of Al Barsha Health Centre, said that the introduction of the urgent care units at these two centres and the fact that they function 24 hours has directly helped in alleviating the pressure that Dubai's Trauma and Emergency Centre at Rashid Hospital faces.

These centres are capable of efficiently treating urgent cases and are equipped with multi-disciplinary specialists.

Dr. Elham Al Nuaimi, Head of 24-hour service unit at Al Barsha Health Centre said the service is of vital importance to the community because it helps provide better access to healthcare via geographical proximity and helps reduce the pressure that hospital emergency departments face due to non-emergency cases.

She said the primary health care centres should be the first point of contact for patients except in cases of emergencies.

Dr. Ayesha Al Basti, Specialist Family Physician and Acting Head of Nad Al Hamar said PHCs provide services including outpatient family medicine, child health services, antenatal care, dental services, some specialist clinics like ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology in addition to supportive services such as pharmacy, X-ray and laboratory services.

In 2017, the centres held a headache clinic following the number of cases of where patients complained of headaches. A neurologist from DHA hospital and a family physician attended the clinic ensuring that specialised care is provided to patients in primary healthcare centres.

The PHCs also offer preventive screening packages at discounted rates including women's health, men's health, adolescent's health, and smoking cessation packages, among others.

Source: Emirates News Agency