Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Private medical/health centres across the UAE may lose their accreditation and are going to be reported to authorities if found non-compliant to additional stringent measures against Coronavirus 2019 (COVID19) institutionalized by a US-headquartered accreditation organization.
Email interviewed, American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF)-Quality vice president Dr. Samir Shureih said the 3,300 facilities around the world under its wings – four in the Middle East and 11 across the UAE – are going to be penalised “in relation to their accreditation status.”
Those in the UAE are aesthetic medical centres as well as dental clinics, three of which have “fully completed their accreditation” while the remaining eight are “in the process of accreditation.”
The plastic surgeon based in Maryland said: “We are not government. We may place a facility on probation, they can still operate but we may continue asking for additional evidence or conduct more surveys. We may suspend the facility and instruct them not to conduct cases until our investigation is concluded. We may terminate accreditation. In the case of suspension, if the facility operates while suspended, we may terminate accreditation. We communicate suspension and termination to the health authorities to coordinate efforts.”
AAAASF has become one of the globally-recognised accreditation bodies in the UAE when the Dubai Health Authority selected the 40-year-old institution after an aesthetic medical centre in Deira, almost two years back, seriously erred in the corrective nose job surgery of a young Emirati woman who had gone comatose and immediately airlifted to a tertiary hospital in Abu Dhabi.
In its Anti-COVID19 strategies, AAAASF has directed the 3,300 facilities worldwide including the 15 in the Middle East “to have an infection control policy and emergency plan” against the dreaded disease.
All the AAAASF facilities must:
• Develop isolation procedures for patients initially screened for respiratory symptoms. The 50 and above patients with symptoms and co-morbidities should have their “elective cases postponed and be provided with protective measures for non-elective cases.”
• Constantly clean all public areas with alcohol. All examination rooms to be thoroughly cleaned after each patient use.
• Remove all “high touch items such as reading materials.”
• Encourage all staff to report symptoms and allowed to go on leave. They are encouraged to report suspected COVID19 conditions of their household members.
• Ensure adequate supply of paper tissue, hand sanitiser, mask, gloves and eyewear to all staff and patients.
The health authority announced in a statement that it is providing this service through its 'Doctor for Every Citizen' initiative, which was launched by the authority last December to fulfil the goals of Article 5 of the Fifty-Year Charter.
The guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was instrumental in ensuring a rapid response to the outbreak and developing an effective counter-pandemic approach, said Dr Amer Sharif.
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