Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has announced that the Community Call Centre service – 16000 - will now be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The service receives calls from patients for both routine and urgent appointments.

"As life in Qatar returns to normal with the Phase 4 lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, PHCC has expanded the operations of the Community Call Centre from its regular 7am to 11pm work shifts to being a 24-hour call centre," PHCC said in a statement.

A nurse-led telephone triage service will be available from 11pm to 7am, which will signpost patients to appropriate services, such as the PHCC 24-hour Urgent Care services, based on their needs.

Dr Samya Ahmad al-Abdulla, senior consultant family physician and executive director of PHCC Operations, said: “Telehealth significantly increases the reach and impact of clinicians, providing another level of connected care for patients. We want to ensure that we are providing access to patient cantered health care for all without interruptions.

“During these challenging times, we are keen to ensure that our vulnerable communities have access to primary healthcare without subjecting themselves to the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in the community. We have set up a 24-hour nurse-led teletriage service, so the call centre will be continuously operational, without interruption."

People can access the call centre through 16000 and book an appointment for a telephone or video consultations with physicians, dentists and ophthalmologists between 7am and 11pm. The patients will be guided and advised to appropriate treatment/referral depending on their needs, including home visits, when feasible.

A team of experienced doctors and nurses determines the priority of the request based on routine, priority/urgent and emergency requirements of the patient. All registered PHCC patients with a valid health card can access the call centre for appointments.

"PHCC aims to be the leader in transforming the health and wellbeing of the people of Qatar by shifting the balance of care from curative, hospital-based treatment to enhanced preventative, health and wellness services in the community. This will better align healthcare and resources toward an approach of person-centred integrated care, with a focus on empowering people to make informed decisions for their health," the statement added.