By repurposing existing resources and facilities, capacity was swiftly expanded to ensure sufficient healthcare facilities with intensive treatment and advanced respiratory support, Alpen Capital said in its report on 'GCC healthcare industry'
Qatar ensured ample bed capacity by expanding the existing healthcare facilities, building new hospitals, and assigning hospitals as dedicated Covid-19 treatment centres, Alpen Capital has said in its country report.
By helping countries in need, Qatar government has acted decisively in terms of leveraging its national wealth, abundant supply reserves, and a well-equipped healthcare system, Alpen Capital said.
Seven hospitals in the country were dedicated to treat Covid-19 patients. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also built a quarantine complex in Umm Slal with 18,000 beds, fully equipped with all necessary equipment for Covid-19 treatment.
Additionally, two temporary medical facilities were built by the MoPH, in cooperation with the armed forces, with a total capacity of 4,645 beds. The MoPH also launched three mobile units and six Covid-19 ambulances in March for random examination. Furthermore, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) designated the Muaither Health Center, Rawdat Al Khail Center, Gharrafat Al Rayyan Center, and Umm Salal Health Center for testing and treating Covid-19 suspected cases.
In order to increase testing capacity, Qatar permitted private healthcare facilities in the country to perform Covid-19 PCR test and send the samples to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) laboratories for examination.
Consequently, Qatar became the second country in the GCC to allow private clinics for coronavirus tests.
Additionally, the PHCC launched invitation-only drives through swab hubs at Al Thumamam, Al Waab, and Leabaib health centers to ramp up testing in the country.
Qatar imposed partial lockdowns in March and announced plans to lift it in four phases from June until September.
While restrictions could be re-imposed if necessary, the country took a number of measures to ensure economic and health wellbeing.
“From rolling out a QR75bn stimulus package primarily aimed at SMEs and hard hit sectors to assuring free of cost treatment for the Covid-19 infected patients, the government has strongly battled the crisis through strategic initiatives,” Alpen Capital noted.
“By repurposing existing resources and facilities, capacity was swiftly expanded to ensure sufficient healthcare facilities with intensive treatment and advanced respiratory support,” it said.
Qatar also extended help to a number of foreign countries by sending medical equipment and supplies to China, Iran, Italy, Spain, US, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Rwanda and Nepal; providing financial support to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip; and aiding refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. “Such measures can be primarily attributed to the government acting decisively in terms of leveraging its national wealth, abundant supply reserves, and a well-equipped healthcare system,” the report noted.
The MoPH took numerous collaborative measures to ensure quality and convenience of service for the entire population. The authorities also made efficient use of technology in their battle against the pandemic.
For instance, the MoPH collaborated with TASMU Smart Qatar, MoTC, Hukoomi and Qatar Post to set up virtual assistance for outpatient services at PHCC and HMC.
The MoPH, together with HMC, PHCC and Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI) also launched a programme for diabetics to ensure their safety through virtual clinics, as they are more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.
A contact-tracing app, Ehteraz, was also launched to keep the residents safe and assist the medical workforce in identifying potential COVID-19 cases.
For the elderly, a dedicated hotline was launched to meet their medical needs and provide psychological support, along with virtual consultations for physiotherapy and rehabilitation services. In its effort to strengthen the medical workforce, the ‘For Qatar’ National Volunteering Campaign was launched to add support to the medical and allied health practice.
This helped in increasing the number of volunteers with the MoPH, Qatar Charity, and Qatar Red Crescent to nearly 35,000 to spread awareness about Covid-19, Alpen Capital noted.
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