Qatar National Health Strategy 2011-2016 Delivers the Foundations for World Class Healthcare
- Publication Date:
- 14/03/17 1:28 PM
- Press Release
The National Health Strategy (NHS) 2011-2016 has achieved over 80% completion. Work is continuing with purpose and pace on the transition to the National Health Strategy 2017-2022, which will build on the foundations laid by NHS 2011-2016.
The Ministry of Public Health held an internal event on the 23rd of February where the NHS 2011-2016 project teams where acknowledged for their hard work during the past six years in making the NHS a success.
“The success of the NHS clearly reflects the levels of cooperation and integration between the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and all other partners and stakeholders,” said Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al-Kuwari, Minister of Public Health. She added that “the NHS 2017-2022, which is currently being developed, will support the National Development Strategy and is line with achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030, while benefiting from previous experiences in successful strategy implementation and delivering national obligations for the people of Qatar.”
The NHS was intended to implement foundational level improvements across the health system, including creating a full continuum of care, improving national integration, and strengthening the health sectors regulatory and policy framework. It was also designed to address a number of challenges, such as the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases driven by lifestyle, the rapidly increasing population causing increasing demands on the healthcare system, and shortages in a quality workforce spanning the entire sector.
Improvements for the Population of Qatar
Public health projects account for a third of the strategy. This was reflected through the establishment and improvement of early detection and screening programs, including the national breast and bowel cancer screening service, pre-marital screening, as well as screening for mental health disorders.
Shifting emphasis from treatment to prevention was advanced through the development of the, soon to be launched, Public Health Strategy 2017-2022, which is considered one of the key outputs of the National Health Strategy 2011-2016. Initiatives in this area included the development of the Tobacco Action Plan, supporting Aspetar and Qatar University in the development of the Qatar Dietary Guidelines, in addition to the National Physical Activity Guidelines and the Qatar National Nutrition and Physical Activity Action Plan 2017-2022, which will be launched later this year.
In addition, the Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities was published in December 2015, and has been adopted in healthcare settings across Qatar, with the aim of clarifying expectations from both patients and providers of healthcare.
Improvements for the Health Sector Workforce
MOPH has encouraged quality improvement across the health workforce through the establishment of the Qatar Council of Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) and the introduction of a mandatory Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development (CME/CPD) system. The first Qatar Health Workforce Plan 2014-2022 was developed with key themes developed for short, medium and long-term actions.
Improvements to clinical practice were reflected through the development of the National E-Health & Data Management Strategy, which aims to guide the development of secure and comprehensive patient medical records. HMC and PHCC have implemented the Clinical Information System to support optimal care delivery and decision-making. Clinical practice was also improved as a result of the establishment of the National Clinical Guidelines aligned to the CME/CPD program.
Improvements in Healthcare Services
With the opening of six new PHCC health centers, including three state of the art Health and Wellness centers, four more health centers planned to open in 2017, and a further 10 scheduled for 2018-2021, access to healthcare has significantly improved, and will continue to improve in Qatar.
The NHS has focused on improving the quality and standard of services through the development of licensing protocols for healthcare facilities, linked with international accreditation standards. A set of standardized key performance indicators have been developed for hospitals, polyclinics, and primary health centers to be included in Health Service Performance Agreements. These will allow the performance monitoring of providers, strengthen the policy and regulatory capacity of the Ministry to ensure quality and accountability in the health care system and promote evidence-informed health policy decisions.
The National Health Strategy 2017-2022
Work has commenced to deliver the next strategic national program of work for the health sector. This is aligned with the work of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics towards the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2017-2022.
“As part of the National Development Strategy 2011-2016, and with the clear direction and support from the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, the NHS 2011-2016 was developed over months of consultation and cross sector planning with health leaders, Ministries, government planners, NGO’s, community groups, and many other contributors. This collaborative approach, of more than fifty organizations, will continue in the next phase to support the development of the nation’s second National Health Strategy 2017-2022,” said Dr. Salih Ali Al-Marri, MOPH.