Patients urged to book to avoid overload
The Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) has advised the public to call in and book ahead of time for appointments to avoid long hospital queues.
The temporary change in procedure is effective immediately.
Due to the State of Emergency announced by the Government on Friday evening, people have been advised to refrain from gatherings of more than five people in public.
A subsequent M.O.H. statement signed by the Ministry’s Director General, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, says that general outpatients are now required to call and book a specific date in advance of a hospital visit.
The advisory also extends to those seeking treatment for specialised services such as for hypertension and diabetes treatment, or those seeking treatment from optometrists or skin, ear and surgical specialists.
Pregnant mothers must also book a time and date for checkups in advance.
Parents are also advised that the clinic at Matagialalua is the best place for follow-up vaccinations for children, or the nearest district hospital.
For emergencies and severe injuries, the hospital Emergency Room remains open, the statement said.
The advisory also restated that existing hospital patients are restricted to only one caretaker per patient.
The public are advised to pay attention to everyday chores and routines to ensure domestic hygiene and prevent the spread of the virus known as C.O.V.I.D.-19.
The M.O.H. also reminded the public to eat well, exercise and continue to consistently take prescribed medications while avoiding large gatherings.
On Saturday, the Government announced that six of the eight suspected cases of the coronavirus in the country had tested negative. The final two suspected cases are still awaiting results.
On Sunday, in an interview with the Samoa Observer, medical doctor, Sala Dr. Esmay Ah Leong, appealed to the public to act as if the coronavirus was already among the community and to isolate themselves accordingly to prevent its spread.
Research on coronavirus has revealed that the elderly and people with pre-existing non-communicable diseases are most at risk for contracting the disease.
Toll free numbers for the M.O.H. to book an appointment are: 800 6440 or 21173, 21176, 21188, 21183, 24402, and 22914.