Qatar’s National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) by Hamad Medical Corporation consistently delivers high-quality cancer assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures have been taken to preserve all vulnerable patients and curb the risk of exposure to patients and staff.
Necessary methods are performed if a cancer victim is tested positive with COVID-19 noted Dr. Salha Bujassoum Al Bader, a Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist at NCCCR.
“I would like to reassure cancer patients that HMC has taken all possible precautions to prevent the spread and infection with the new COVID19,” Dr. Al Badar added in a video posted on HMC’s Facebook page.
For the protection of all patients, the Outpatient Department at NCCCR has been moved to the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC). All patients with an incoming planned meeting will be communicated by the NCCCR physicians and have a telephone consultation.
Based on the patient’s health the doctor may also suggest a physical visit in the ACC given that the patient has no flu-like indications and is not following quarantine protocols.
Guests are restricted to inpatients at NCCCR and patients can get their regular medicine by Q-post. If a cancer patient is feeling cold or flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, or if the patient under quarantine wants to speak to an oncology/ hematology physician about continuous treatment, they can call the hotline 16000 and press option three (3). The hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Relating to one of the cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19, D. Al Bader said, “She is a breast cancer patient, treated at NCCCR. She is undergoing targeted treatment. She came here for her regular appointment for treatment and she was complaining of mild throat pain.”
“So we test her for COVID-19 and the result came positive. All necessary procedures were taken immediately and the patient was treated at Communicable Disease Centre (CDC).” The female patient who has met Dr. Al Bader after recovering from COVID-19 was grateful for the medication that she received at CDC. “I’m one of those COVID-19 victims, but thankfully I recovered.
“The staff at CDC are very dedicated and they took all required precautions because the conditions for my treatment was different from a normal COVID-19 patient with no medical condition,” said the woman healed from COVID-19.
Patients with cancer are advised to take additional restraint means to avoid getting COVID-19 as even a mild illness connected with the virus could cause severe difficulties as cancer patients already having a depleted immune system. They are encouraged to avoid contact with individuals who are suffering and to rigorously adhere to hand hygiene and social distancing measures.