Upgrading the health system and medical education in the country and maintaining comprehensive development in the healthcare industry are among the top priorities of a number of candidates for the upcoming Shura Council election.
Speaking at a forum hosted recently by local Arabic daily Arrayah, they stressed the need to adopt an active health insurance system, have a clear mechanism for treatment abroad, and encourage young Qataris to study medicine and other health specialties.
Further, the candidates suggested the creation of a national authority for food and drugs and train the graduates of health specialties abroad, in addition to introducing more options to study medicine locally.
Aisha Jassim al-Kuwari, a candidate for the 22nd constituency, said the health sector in the country faces some challenges, which dictates the need for an effective and comprehensive health insurance system, while more work should be done to attract Qatari professionals to work in the health sector.
Jassim Ibrahim Fakhro, a candidate for the 7th constituency, stressed the need for "control management" systems in the country's health institutes, in addition to an effective system for treatment abroad with a practical mechanism of accountability. He also gave some suggestions regarding the shortage in medical professionals, whether physicians or nurses, and the challenges involved in addressing such issues.
He stressed that these issues are of global concern and need innovative solutions, such as encouraging the study of medicine and giving incentives for those wishing to adopt nursing as a profession.
Abdullah bin Hay bin Ghanim al-Sulaiti, a candidate for the 3rd constituency, said one of the most important focus areas in his programme is the advancement of health facilities in the country by developing the necessary medical equipment, laboratories, health centres and professionals.
He said the number of beds and rooms in local hospitals have to be increased based on the increasing number of the inhabitants. Regarding the health insurance system for Qataris, he stressed the need for a more effective system that addresses all the shortcomings of the previous system.
Sheikha Matar Dabet al-Dawsari, a candidate for the 27th constituency, said persons with disability should be given priority when it comes to medical appointments in both hospitals and health centres. Also, certain clinics or centres could be dedicated for this category of people to make it easier for them to access health services, she added.
She also stressed that students should be encouraged to go for scientific studies and adopt medical professions through a series of incentives.