Visit nearest clinics for minor ailments, injuries, Ministry of Health advises

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THE Ministry of Health (MoH) advised patients with minor illnesses to go to the nearest government clinics instead of the Emergency Department at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) hospital, to avoid long queue during peak hours.

“For non-urgent cases, please be advised the waiting time may be long during peak times when doctors and nurses are busy attending to more severe cases,” MoH said.

According to the ministry, other options for non-urgent cases include going to the primary health care services during office hours.

The health ministry said that when the resuscitation area — an area where emergency cases are handled — is busy with urgent cases, doctors at the Emergency Department may take longer to attend to non-urgent cases.

Patients who do not require emergency services can go to Berakas Health Centre which opens from 7am to 9pm on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. For Friday, Sunday and public holidays, the centre will be open from 2pm to 9pm.

Another clinic that residents with minor illness or injury can go to is the health centre in Kg Rimba which opens from 7am to 6pm Mondays to Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The health ministry said despite the challenges they face, it is striving to provide the best level of emergency services to Bruneians through its triage system, a process where medical experts will determine the priority of patient’s treatments based on the severity of their condition.

Through this system, triage nurses will assess and allocate patients into different areas of the Emergency Department, namely Priority One, Priority Two and Priority Three.

Priority One are patients requiring immediate attention, with life-threatening illness or injury.

Priority Two patients are those with less serious condition, requiring emergency medical attention but not immediately endangering the patient’s life, and are trolley based.

Priority Three includes minor emergency and non-urgent cases.

MoH also advised visitors to RIPAS hospital not to bring children to visit sick patients in order to minimise risks of infection.

As for resuscitation cases or Priority One individuals, visiting relatives are advised to wait at the hospital’s designated area.

When The Brunei Times visited the Emergency Department at RIPAS hospital last week, Hjh Saimah Mohd Said who was waiting for emergency care, suggested for a more systematic queue to reduce waiting time for patients who are suffering in pain.

She said while patients at the Emergency Department are prioritised according to their medical condition and urgency, patients should not have to wait longer than 30 minutes.

“I’ve been waiting for over 15 minutes, while I still find this acceptable I wish it could be faster,” said Hjh Saimah.

Meanwhile, Ramli Hj Maideen said he has observed an overall improvement in the department’s wait time compared to previous years.

However, he suggested for doctors to prescribe medication enough to last until the patient’s next appointment, for the convenience of those who live far.

“If it’s possible, I would like doctors to prescribe me medicines enough to last one month because it’s really inconvenient for us who live far. Sometimes the medicine prescribed to me does not cover a month,” said the 52-year-old.

Also waiting for emergency care was a patient who only wished to be known as Mohammad. He said hospital staff should provide more compassionate care to patients who are in pain and in discomfort.

“I think the health ministry is doing a great job in reducing its wait time, however I feel that they should work on their people skills,” said Mohammad.

The Brunei Times