Praising the resilience of the country’s healthcare system, HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari highlighted yesterday the need to continue working to achieve the goal of universal health coverage.
HE Dr al-Kuwari was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare 2023 at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel. Jointly organised by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), more than 3,000 healthcare professionals are taking part in this year’s forum in person and virtually. It is the biggest event of its kind in the region dedicated to healthcare quality and safety.
HE Dr al-Kuwari said: “To continue facing the challenges, both known and unexpected, we must be more resilient. I look forward to an engaging discussion that will consolidate our understanding and help us progress on our previous successes and achieve our collective goal of universal health coverage.”
“As with many aspects of life, we had to change the way we do things throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and that meant delivering this important forum virtually. But Covid-19 did not stop us; we just had to adapt and do things differently. This is a wonderful example of Healthcare Resilience in Extraordinary Times; the perfect theme for this year’s forum,” she added.
HE the Minister continued, “In Qatar, we are fortunate to be guided by the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has emphasised resilience in all our country’s plans and policies. This has meant that as a country we were well positioned to successfully face challenges such as Covid-19. And our National Vision 2030 has driven us to seek to excel in the delivery of healthcare to all those living in Qatar so that we can have a healthy thriving population.”
She commended the healthcare sector’s response to Covid-19, explaining that by working together across the healthcare system, in collaboration with the community, healthcare teams have been central to Qatar having one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates and one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates in the world. She also acknowledged and appreciated the courageous efforts and leadership of the healthcare professionals during the pandemic.
“Yet, despite these incredible achievements, we are committed to constantly moving forward,” she said. “Throughout 2023, we will focus our efforts on implementing the new National Insurance Programme; providing fast access to care for patients; and ensuring Qatar’s healthcare system continues to be a regional leader for quality and safety in healthcare, delivering services on a par with the world’s best health systems.”
HE Dr al-Kuwari also highlighted the healthcare sector’s contribution to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: “After 12 years of planning and preparation under the vision and direction of Qatar’s leaders, the nation hosted a truly incredible tournament that was widely acclaimed as the greatest ever FIFA World Cup. Many sectors from across Qatar played an important role in the tournament’s success and as a healthcare system we have been at the forefront of these efforts,” she noted.
“The planning, preparation and delivery of our comprehensive FIFA World Cup strategy required a truly incredible effort from healthcare teams across the sector and I am deeply grateful to everyone who played their part in this remarkable accomplishment,” she added.
HE the Minister also highlighted several of the health sector’s key achievements since 2020, which include the opening of Aisha Bint Hamad Al Attiyah Hospital; opening of six new state-of-the-art health and wellness centres; achieving the World Health Organisation ‘Healthy City’ status for all eight municipalities; designation for HMC’s Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Ageing and Dementia; implementing a range of telemedicine and virtual services across the public health sector; gaining Planetree International Certification for Excellence in Person-Centred Care at five HMC facilities; having four HMC hospitals and Sidra Medicine ranked among the world’s top 250 academic medical centres among others.
Held under the theme ‘Healthcare Resilience in Extraordinary Times’ the opening session of the forum also heard from Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, deputy chief medical officer and director of the Department of Medical Education at HMC, and Dr Kedar Mate, president and CEO, IHI. There was also a session by Dr Don Berwick, president emeritus and senior fellow, IHI.
HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari speaking at the event. PICTURE: Thajudheen
The audience seen appreciating the efforts of the healthcare professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic. PICTURE: Thajudheen