The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has launched a new service to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments online through its bilingual mobile app, Nar’aakom.
PHCC’s Nar’aakom smartphone app provides comprehensive digitized healthcare management on-the-go, from accessing upcoming appointments to applying for a health card online, making it easy to access services at its 27 Health Centers.
The new service is available for both citizens and residents of Qatar who are eligible to register for a health card with PHCC can access this service. Eligible patients who do not know their designated Health Center can also submit an online request, the Health Information Management team will assign the nearest Health Center, based on the patient’s residential address. The Health Center staff will then send an SMS, with an appointment reference number to the patient
The new service is not accessible to people holding QIDs with expiry dates beyond the one-year grace period allowed by the Government and hence they will not be able to submit vaccine appointment requests through Nar’aakom.
“We are always looking for ways to make it easier and more convenient for the people of Qatar, our patients and the community, to be able to access our services. Designed to handle a large number of appointment bookings, our vaccine scheduling system allows us to manage patient flow smoothly, reduce the footfall in our health centres, encouraging social distancing.” said Dr Mariam Abdul Malik, managing director at PHCC.
To book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, patients can download, register and login to the Nar’aakom app, click on E-Services, choose ‘Request COVID-19 Vaccine’’ and enter their QID. The patient will then receive an OTP for verification, followed by a clinical questionnaire. This will lead to the booking form with an auto-selected box picking up the patient’s previously assigned Health Center.
A patient can select from three preferred dates and timings for the appointment and will then receive a confirmation SMS with a reference number. The Health Center reception staff will review and validate the request submitted and then call the patient to confirm date and time for appointment. Once confirmed, they then book and confirm the appointment through the system and the patient receives a confirmation SMS for the appointment. Patients who fail to respond after three unanswered calls from the reception staff of their local Health Center will be put on ‘pending’ status.
Nar’aakom is an extension of the digital transformation of health care services that PHCC rolled out in 2020, empowering people to access health services anywhere and anytime, at their convenience thus encouraging patients to take ownership of their own health. Available for both iPhones and android devices, the Nar’aakom app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in Qatar.
The current priority group for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is 30 years and above, however children aged 12 to 18 years can also be registered to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Qatar.