Qatar’s healthcare sector has made huge strides in the recent years, offering world-class services to the citizens and residents despite the blockade against Qatar completing 1,000 days.
The healthcare sector continues to flourish like never before.
From being named one of the best in the world to launching new hospitals and world-class medical services, the country’s healthcare sector saw several developments in the last two-and-half years.
Last year, Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank declared Qatar’s healthcare system the best in Middle East and the fifth best in the world.
Qatar is the only country in the region to feature on the top 5 list of the Legatum Prosperity Index, behind Singapore, Luxembourg, Japan and Switzerland.
In 2018, Qatar was ranked 13th in the world.
The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the state healthcare provider, has moved from strength to strength opening several hospitals and other facilities during this period.
Very recently, HMC also announced that 50% of renovation and upgrade works at the Surgical Specialty Center, located in the former Women’s Hospital, has been completed and it was aiming to make it fully operational by early 2021.
Once completed, several surgical services will be relocated to the new facility, including orthopaedic surgery, vascular surgery, urology, and organ transplantation.
There are also plans to relocate bariatric surgery services to the new facility.
In January this year, the Daam Specialised Care Center was officially opened.
The new specialist facility will provide round-the-clock care to elderly Qatari patients who no longer need to be in hospital but require long-term, inpatient medical care.
The facility will also treat some patients in need of short-term respite care.
The new facility will accommodate 68 patients and provide occupational therapy, recreational therapy, physiotherapy, and medical and nursing care, all in a comfortable, home-like environment.
The Daam Specialised Care Center joins HMC’s existing Enaya Specialised Care Centers, which have been caring for patients since 2010.
Last year it also opened the new Trauma and Emergency Centre, providing a number of services to patients with some of them being unique in the country and the region.
Once fully operational, the new centre — one of the largest in the region — will lead to a significant expansion of trauma and emergency services in Qatar, ranging from trauma, urgent and critical care, to short stay and ‘See and Treat’ walk-in services.
Last year started on a high note as HMC’s new Tobacco Control Center opened in January, playing an important role in the fight to curb smoking in the community.
In May, last year, 13 HMC facilities and services were accredited by the US-based Joint Commission International (JCI) by achieving the “Gold Seal” of approval in recognition of their quality of care. Of the 13 facilities, eight, including the Hamad Dental Center and the Mental Health Service, received the accreditation for the first time.
The Trauma System has also been successfully reaccredited by Accreditation Canada International (ACI) and awarded the Trauma Distinction Award of Excellence.
In 2017, the year when the blockade began, state-of-the-art facilities opened at the Medical City complex.
They included the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, the Ambulatory Care Centre and Women’s Wellness and Research Centre, providing patients with access to an unprecedented level of care by increasing bed capacity, improving services and granting faster access to specialised treatment.
The new Medical City hospitals represented the biggest expansion of healthcare facilities in the history of Qatar and were a central part of the country’s commitment to providing patients with the safest, most effective and most compassionate care.
In June 2018, HMC inaugurated two new services, including a state-of-the-art Cardiac MRI Suite at Heart Hospital and a new chemotherapy robotic pharmacy at the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research.
Shortly afterwards, HMC officially opened its Stroke Service Unit, which is part of the new Neuroscience Institute at Hamad General Hospital. The facility features a Rapid Access Stroke Unit and a Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic, which combined to provide an innovative and comprehensive approach to stroke care through early diagnosis and faster assessment and treatment.
The last quarter of 2018 saw the opening of the Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, bringing care closer to the Industrial Area community.
In December 2018, new Central Clinical Laboratories at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute were inaugurated.
In mid-February, HMC opened phase two of Hamad General Hospital’s state-of-the-art surgical services expansion, which was part of HMC’s busiest expansion programme in more than a decade.
It included 16 rooms to receive patients from wards, 30 recovery rooms, a dedicated nurse’s station, conference room and enhanced staff areas.
Besides, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) opened a number of new health centres across Qatar.
Last year, PHCC opened new centres in Muaither, Al Wajba, Al Waab and Qatar University.
In addition, PHCC has continued to expand its Bowel and Cancer Screening suites.
PHCC continued to offer its services and rolled out the family medicine concept all across the health centres.
The unjust siege also failed to make any impact in the pharmaceuticals sector as well.
Despite having its traditional sources of supply from some blockading countries before the blockade, HMC suffered no shortage of any medicine. HMC was successful in finding alternative supply sources, by striking deals with bigger pharma companies outside GCC. They were willing to export high-quality medicines to Qatar at cheaper rates than those supplied by companies in the blockading countries.
Within the two-and-half years of the blockade, a number of strategies have been launched and implementation started including the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022, Qatar National Dementia Plan 2018-22, Qatar National Mental Health Strategy 2018-2022 and PHCC Corporate Strategy Plan 2019-2023, among others.
Sidra Medicine, part of Qatar Foundation and an ultrahigh tech speciality hospital for women, young and children became fully operational with its official opening in November 2018.
The hospital recently launched a number of new services for women and children, providing several unique services for the citizens and residents of the country. Some of the services at Sidra are available for the first time in the country and the region.
The hospital has also conducted a number of complicated surgeries and procedures very successfully.