The management of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital is taking steps to reopen the outpatients’ clinic. 

The clinic was closed due to the recent spike in covid-19 cases around the island and according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) Dr. Dexter James, the hospital decided to reopen the clinic in due to the exceptional handling of covid-19 at the DCFH.

“We took the decision, having measured success in maintaining a safe environment, to slowly reopen business so to speak.  And what we have done is that we have started to look at our survey and so we reopened our operating theatres for elective surgery and these are non-emergent cases. And we have had some good success in terms of surgeries done over the last month or so. And today we are happy to announce the opening of our outpatient clinics on a phased basis,” Dr. James stated.

Medical Director of the DCFH, Dr. Ruby Blanc noted that after long discussions, the decision was taken to reopen the clinics to provide healthcare in an environment that is safe for the patients and staff.

“The main consideration which has been foremost in this process is the provision of healthcare in an environment that is safe for both patients and staff; and with this in mind a number of operating procedures have been outlined to guide this process,” Dr. Blanc explained.

Acting Ward Sister at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital Mrs. Marissa Matthew-Alexander outlined the protocols for the outpatients’ clinic.

“The clinics that will resume are Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, ENT, Cardiology, Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology and ECG.  All clinics will begin from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. All patients attending clinics must show proof of negative covid antigen or PCR test that is done not more than 48 hours prior to the clinic. Antigen test results must be shown at the main gate to the screening nurse by the patient and persons accompanying the patient,” Mrs. Matthew-Alexander explained.

Persons without an appointment and a negative PCR or antigen test will not be allowed to enter the hospital compound.

“Absolutely no patient without a valid and current antigen or PCR test will not be allowed to access the clinic. All staff and patients must wear masks or facial coverings at the clinic. The appropriate personal protective equipment will be worn by staff while providing care to patients. Clinic appointment lists will be sent to th front gate so that the security and the screening nurse at the gate can allow these persons to enter the compound. Persons who do not have an appointment or do not have a current negative antigen or PCR test will not be allowed to access the clinics,” Nurse Matthew-Alexander further stated.

All individuals accompanying the patients must also present a negative antigen test result. Nurse Alexander added that patients will be contacted via telephone to receive the details of their appointments.