By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
The National Cancer Strategy for the next five years will be released later this year, a top official of the National Cancer Committee has revealed.
“The new strategy will be released sometime in October-November, under the guidance of HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari," explained Prof the Lord Darzi of Denham, chair, National Cancer Committee.
"We are collecting the views from all the stakeholders, including officials, clinicians, patients, and families," he told a press conference on the sidelines of the National Cancer Strategy Deliberative Forum, held on Monday to take stock of the National Cancer Strategy 2011-2016 and set the priorities for the next one.
The forum, held in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Healthcare Corporation was attended by HE Dr Hanan al-Kuwari, as well as senior officials and leading experts in the health sector.
"We have already evaluated the prevailing strategy and had the opportunity to see if there were any gaps. We will see what else can be added to the plan to improve the experience of the patients as well as providing better value for money for the patients,” Prof Lord Darzi said.
“The cancer care given in Qatar is one of the best in the world. The quality of the treatment here is not only good and in some areas it is better than in many other advanced countries in the world. There is no other country in the region that has a national cancer strategy,” he added.
Dr al-Hareth al-Khater, acting chair of Hematology and Oncology and Sr. consultant physician, Hamad Medical Corporation, said that the new cancer hospital is almost nearing the completion of the design process.
“We are involving all the stakeholders and this has been a process that has been going on for a year. All the specialties are involved in the process. The patients and families will have the opportunity to come and provide their suggestions on what we are proposing. We hope that in the next couple of years, we will have a new cancer centre.”
HE Dr al-kuwari recalled at the forum that over the last five years there have been monumental changes in the way cancer is identified, diagnosed and treated in Qatar.
"Patients are now treated in Qatar by leading specialists, using world-class treatment techniques and technologies. We must continue to evolve and develop, in line with international best practice and benchmarking ourselves against the very best in the world.”
The outcomes from the forum, along with the reflections on the 2011-2016 strategy and input from across the healthcare sector, will now be used to develop a framework for the next five years (2017-2022).
Dr. Mariam Ali Abdul Malik, managing director, Primary Health Care Corporation, was also present at the press conference.
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