Doha, 13 March, 2021: The Tobacco Control Center at Hamad Medical Corporation participated in a virtual session held by the World Heath Organization on 10th of March, 2021. The session was held to discuss the cost coverage of treating the effects of smoking, especially the cost of consultations, visits and treatment. The session is part of the activities prepared by WHO to celebrate the international day for smoking cessation 2021 under the slogan: “Commit to Smoking Cessation”.
The session discussed the primary role of health or social insurance companies to cover the costs of consultations and to provide treatment for smokers. Experts from WHO in Geneva participated in the session along with an expert from New Zealand.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of HMC’s Smoking Cessation Center presented a brief on smoking cessation services in Qatar which are provided by Hamad Medical Corporation including all the necessary medications provided to citizens and residents free of charge to help them quit smoking, which results in reducing treatment costs caused by smoking and the negative smoking effects.
A recent study conducted in cooperation with the health council for GCC shown that the cost of treating smoking related diseases in 2016 in Qatar were around 895 million dollars which is more 3 billion Qatari Riyals.
142 specialists attended the session witnessed. It also included speakers from WHO in Geneva such as Dr. Rodger Karsh, Head of Health Awareness, Dr. Robert Totans, from social determinants for health and Dr. Leah Strorges, Senior Consultant in Smoking Cessation in New Zealand.
Attendees stressed the importance of covering the costs of treatments by health insurance companies as smoking cessation is strongly related to the reduction of health services costs in countries and recommended a support and activation by WHO.
HMC’s Smoking Cessation Center urges smokers to benefit from the services provided by the center to help themselves quit smoking. People can contact the center by calling 40254981 or 50800959.