Background: COVID-19 pandemic is a serious ongoing global public health crisis. It significantly impacted healthcare systems
ability to deliver effective and timely cancer treatment. Cancer patients are at increased risk of death from corona virus. It is essential
to continue the healthcare of cancer-patients who reside in a lockdown-zone. Therefore, redeployment of healthcare resources and
strategies is vital.
Objective: To highlight JHAH efforts in initiating a remote cancer-therapy infusion center in a lockdown-zone located in Qatif
governorate, Saudi Arabia, during March to April 2020, to ensure the continuation of quality evidence-based oncology treatment
to eligible patients in a timely manner.
Methods: JHAH medical staff residing in Qatif, already under lockdown as precautionary measures, was redeployed to work in a
contracted private hospital (Al Zahra General Hospital; ZGH). To provide the required treatment for JHAH cancer patient who were
banned from exiting the lockdown-zone and receiving cancer-treatment at the oncology centre in Dhahran. Oncology treatment
team reviewed treatment protocols for all scheduled cancer patients. Patients had the required laboratory tests in ZGH, ahead of
treatment date. If the results were acceptable, treatment orders were released, and pharmacy prepared the medications for next
day appointments. Medications were delivered to ZGH in Qatif governorate, where JHAH medical team administered them and
provided the appropriate care.
Results: 116 JHAH cancer patients received various treatments safely as planned in ZGH. Despite an ongoing global pandemic,
the care delivery efforts of the oncology team at JHAH resulted in a patient satisfaction rate above 92%.
Conclusions: Our experience showed that delivering quality care for cancer patients under lockdown was feasible and
successful. A well-established healthcare system with supportive leadership, multidisciplinary teamwork and a passion to provide
quality and effective service to cancer patients are essential for continuity of care during a pandemic event.