Stress on patient safety and quality medical care
September 24 2017 11:27 PM
Dr Hanan Mohd al-Kuwari
Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari: Quality and safety of health service basis for health system development.


The State of Qatar, under the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has made quality and safety of health services the basis for the development of the health system, as Qatar National Vision 2030 emphasises the development of an integrated healthcare system that provides high-quality preventive and treatment health services according to the highest international standards, HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari said.
In a statement on the occasion of opening the 3rd Qatar Patient Safety Week yesterday, the minister underlined that the health sector works to ensure the highest levels of patient safety through the provision of the best safe and effective healthcare.
The slogan of this week “Together for Patient Safety” reflects the importance of concerted efforts by all through strong partnerships at the level of the health system as a whole, HE Dr Hanan said, noting that patients and their families are key partners in this field.
She underlined that activities organised over the week with an active participation of the health sector institutions contribute to the establishment of a culture of patient safety for all concerned, thus ensuring that patients enjoy safe and high quality medical care.
Organised by the Ministry of Public Health, the 3rd Qatar Patient Safety Week kicked off with the participation of more than 1,000 health practitioners. It will run until September 30.
The event is an initiative and an educational and awareness campaign that promotes the concept of patient safety among employees and users of healthcare institutions.
The event aims to promote and spread a culture of patient safety through dialogue with decision-makers in all areas of health in order to develop regulations and laws necessary to raise awareness about patient safety, and to promote communication between decision makers, healthcare providers and patients.
It will also shed light on the challenges facing the activation of national initiatives in this area, the development of appropriate solutions through public-private co-operation, and the creation of a forum for dialogue between patients and healthcare providers to enhance patient participation in building a sound health system.
The event includes a number of activities, including lectures, workshops and training programmes, with the participation of distinguished experts in the field of quality of healthcare and safety of patients from inside and outside Qatar.
It will also include presentations for health practitioners and a poster competition for local projects on improving quality and safety.
Addressing the opening, Director of the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Department at the Ministry Huda al-Katheeri highlighted the ministry’s role in promoting patient safety and providing the best quality health services according to the highest standards to all citizens and resident of Qatar.
She presented a brief summary of the department’s achievements in improving the quality of healthcare and patient safety, and the future plans to improve the quality of health services in Qatar, thus contributing to the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030.
She noted that the health ministry held partnerships with many health sector and medical education institutions in the country, praising the support of these partner institutions for this event.
The activities of the 3rd Qatar Patient Safety Week include seven main tracks: leadership and culture of quality, technology and pharmacological safety, capacity building and engagement of staff, participation of patients and their families, national guidelines for patient safety, prevention and control of infection and the decisions based on data comparable to international indicators and standards.
In a statement to the press, al-Katheeri said that the ministry is effectively setting policies, legislations and special standards in patient safety.
The ministry also controls the implementation of these standards in health institutions, which guarantees the quality of various health services, she added.
Through the ministry’s pivotal role in facing the obstacles of patients’ safety, it co-operates with international and regional entities and has an obligation towards these entities to work on bettering patient safety, alongside its guiding role to build capacity and provide platforms for the exchange of experiences and information, al-Katheeri said.
The supervisory role the ministry practices in improving and securing patient safety starts by issuing licences to health institutes and health practitioners, since no licences are issued except after all patient safety standards are met in addition to periodic visits to health facilities to ensure the application of these standards, she added.
In the case that a health institute is not following the safety standards, some procedures are done against the institute and may include the withdrawal of their licence in extreme cases and also work with those facilities to improve their performance in improving patient safety, she revealed.
Al-Katheeri said Qatar is considered a developed country in patient safety and continuously works on advancing the standards and procedures in this field.
She further noted that two of Qatar’s hospitals have succeeded in applying the World Health Organisation (WHO) patient safety friendly hospital initiative standards, which shows how far standards are implemented locally.
In response to a question about the criteria for granting work permits to private health facilities, which some believe to be strict, she explained that these standards are ultimately aimed at protecting the safety of patients and that the ministry is continuously reviewing the criteria for granting licences and listening to the views of investors in the public health sector in order to develop the services provided and encourage these investors.
Al-Katheeri said the activities of the event week also include scientific lectures, work papers, projects and initiatives to develop and improve the quality of the patient safety field, as well as training courses, including a training workshop by Sidra Medical and Research Center as well as a simulation to meet the challenges of patient safety addressed to doctors and nurses.
The event is planned to establish internal and external networks for the exchange of knowledge and information in the field of quality improvement and patient safety.
Public awareness campaigns will take place tomorrow, in a number of health centres.
On September 29 and 30 the campaign will be help in one of the malls to contribute to expanding awareness and launch initiatives on patient safety as well as discuss the importance of medical safety and infection control, and to encourage the attendees to participate and share their views on the provided health services to contribute to its development.
The first Qatar Patient Safety Week was organised in 2014 and the second in 2015, where the two events were a major success and a high demand from all stakeholders.
The annual event is overseen by the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Department.

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