Doha, 23 March, 2019: Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, and a number of other Ministers, senior officials, and dignitaries were among the attendees at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare.
Running under the theme ‘Patient Safety First’ over three days, including pre-conference sessions held on Friday, this year’s Forum highlights the quality and safety aspects of the world-class healthcare services that are provided to patients across Qatar’s health system.The event, which is now in its seventh consecutive year, is organized by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is being attended by nearly 3,000 delegates.
Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari notedthat the growth of Qatar’s healthcare system has placed it on par with the world’s best-performing health systems.
“Since we came together at last year’s Forum we have opened Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, Sidra Medicine formally opened, and the new NaufarCenter became operational. Additionally, in 2018 we opened four new PHCC health and wellness centers – all providing high-quality care to our patients much closer to where they live. This increase in capacity and advances in quality have transformed our health system into a regional leaderthat is comparable with the world’s best,” said Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.
“We’re more proactive in the early detection of treatable disease than ever before – this year PHCC passed the 50,000 mark in the number of patients having bowel and breast screening. And a number of HMC services – such as cardiac care, the stroke program, and ambulance response times – are all consistently exceeding international best practice benchmarks. And all of this is recognized on the international stage. The World Health Organization ranks Qatar in the top 25 percent of the world for access and quality. The World Bank puts Qatar in the top quartile for Universal Health Coverage, and the Legatum Prosperity Index ranks Qatar as the fifth best for health in the world. These achievements are down to the hard work and dedication of people right across our health system and the emphasis the leadership of the State of Qatar has placed on healthcare,” added Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.
Mr. Derek Feeley, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), said his organization is pleased to partner with HMC once again this year and he noted that quality improvement initiatives now extend across the continuum of care, from the hospital to the home.
“Health behaviors are associated with a multitude of health and well-being outcomes at the individual and population levels. We are pleased to have collaborated once again with HMC to provide a forum for quality improvers that helps them develop better ways to deliver patient care. This is part of a broadening mission of achieving greater health equity and improving the health of populations while rewarding value rather than volume,” said Mr. Feeley.
After the opening ceremony, Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari, and a number of other Ministers and senior officials and dignitaries toured the ‘Knowledge Zone’, the conference exhibition area. With over 15 exhibitors, including the Ministry of Public Health, HMC’s Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute (HHQI), Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar Armed Forces, Qatar Red Crescent, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, and the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), the tour delegation met with representatives of important partners in quality who showcased improvement efforts and initiatives within their respective organizations. The Knowledge Zone also boasted more than 100 scientific posters on quality and safety.
Mr. Nasser Al Naimi, Deputy Chief of Quality and Director of HHQI and Middle EastForum Co-Chair,explained how this year’s forum tracks were reflected in the design of the Knowledge Zone.
“There are so many inter-dependencies that need to be managed to initiate sustainable quality improvement and with our exhibits, we wanted to give delegates the opportunity to learn, reflect, be inspired, and share knowledge with other professionals –all in an exciting and fun environment,” said Mr. Al Naimi.
Dr. Abdullatif AlKhal, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Director of Medical Education at HMC and Middle East Forum Co-Chair commented on the immense value of having such a world-class educational event in Qatar: “This is a great opportunityfor all healthcare professionals to participate in an international conference of a very high caliber without having to travel far. Many attendees who have been delegates at one of our previous Forums are now presenting their own work on quality and safety. Of the 126 speakers this year, 108 are from Qatar and the region, which is a real testimony to the progress we have made in quality improvement understanding and application since we held our first Middle East Forum seven years ago. The program this year has many new and innovative topics in the field of quality and safety and it provides an opportunity for participants to network with leaders in this field.”