COVID-19: DHA updates rules for private healthcare facilities

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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has issued updates on the precautionary measures for private healthcare facilities in the emirate to enhance safeguards against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The rules also strengthen the health system’s preparedness to provide the required medical care for the population.

With immediate effect, all private health facilities are required to ensure full compliance with the updated protocols.

Failure to do so will result in legal action.

Here's the complete list:

  • All appointments must be booked in advance to ensure health facilities aren't crowded. There should be a minimum interval of 20 minutes between appointments. A minimum distance of two metres should be maintained by patients in waiting areas.

 

  • All staff and visitors should continue to wear masks at all times and strictly comply with physical distancing guidelines.

 

  • The hospital should note patients’ medical history and details of exposure to suspected COVID-19 cases and maintain strict adherence to the standards and guidelines.

 

  • To manage Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP) in specialties such as dentistry and ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions, the following precautions must be strictly followed: Patients should be assessed prior to any procedure to ensure they are free from COVID-19 symptoms.

 

  • Necessary measures must be taken to transfer a COVID-19 patient to a health facility that provides the service and is equipped with negative pressure treatment rooms to protect medical staff and prevent the spread of the virus.

 

  • All staff must wear Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) in order to ensure the highest level of protection and safety for both patients and medical staff.

 

  • All professionals must comply with the updated guidelines for healthcare professionals concerning COVID-19 and facilities must ensure they have sufficient stock of PPEs and sanitisers for all staff and visitors.

 

  • Health facilities must continue to use telemedicine services to provide medical services while ensuring that it does not conflict with the other provisions of its updated protocols. Telehealth services do not require a separate license at this time, provided they adhere to the Authority's standards for telehealth services.
     
  • In-person training and continuous medical education activities within the health facility must be limited, and e-learning and distance learning methods must be used as alternatives.
     
  • Children’s play and entertainment areas must be closed to allow all amenities in the facility to be disinfected with special attention given to the reception, patient waiting areas, consulting rooms, elevators and door handles. Disinfection processes should be comprehensively documented.

 

  • Hand disinfectants and sanitisers must be provided at entrances and reception areas and awareness must be raised among patients about the importance of regular hand hygiene and sterilisation to prevent transmission.
     
  • Banners and posters must be placed at entrances and elevators explaining the preventive measures focused on protection, prevention of transmission and proper social distancing among customers and employees.
     
  • PCR tests must be conducted in approved laboratories for any suspected cases requiring medical procedures or intervention.
     
  • All circulars, standards and guidelines issued by the DHA regarding management of COVID-19 should be stringently complied with.

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