Five new pediatric outpatient clinics have opened this month at Sidra Medical and Research Center.
The hospital, which currently only offers outpatient services, said plans are also underway to begin day surgery procedures.
So far, more than 30 of a planned 40 specialized outpatient clinics and services have launched. All are expected to be running by January 2017, Sidra added.
The new clinics for children and teens are: infectious diseases, adolescent medicine (for those aged 14-18 years), ophthalmology, nephrology (renal disease, chronic kidney disease and bladder dysfunction), anesthesiology and a pre-anesthesia care unit.
Access to the clinics is by referral only, from Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation and the Qatar Foundation Primary Health Care Center.
However, more referral sources may be added as other Sidra clinics and services open.
Before doctors at Sidra can begin performing day surgeries, the hospital must secure licenses from the Ministry of Public Health.
This is currently in process and should be done “soon,” according to Dr. David Sigalet, medical director of the Outpatient Center and department chair of surgery.
Such operations will involve minor procedures in which a patient can be admitted, operated on and discharged on the same day.
Examples include hernia repairs, orchidopexy (surgery used to resolve testicular torsions), lymph node biopsies, ear, nose and throat (ENT) and ophthalmology procedures, wound reconstruction and urologic procedures.
Services will eventually expand to include simple orthopedic procedures, a Sidra spokeswoman said.
“This is an exciting time for Sidra and more importantly a crucial service delivery for the children of Qatar who require specialist healthcare services,” Sigalet added.
For now, complex surgeries undertaken by Sidra doctors are being conducted at HMC hospitals.
After missing several opening deadlines, no new official date has been set for the launch of the entire hospital.
However, Sidra board vice chair Lord Darzi said last summer that this may not be until 2019.
Meanwhile, the outpatient department at Sidra launched in May with just three clinics, but more have been opening each month.
By next January, the department will be able to see up to 5,000 patients each week, or up to 260,000 a year, as part of a plan to relieve key under-pressure facilities at Hamad General Hospital.
The Qatar Foundation-funded project, located next to the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), is designed to be a regional center of excellence for the care of women and children.