Publication Date: 24 March 2018 Category:Primary News His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior attended the launch of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 today. The event was organized by the Ministry of Public Health, and was held in conjunction with the opening ceremony for the 2018 Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, at the Qatar National Convention Center.The launch event was attended by a number of distinguished Ministers, in addition to more than 2,500 healthcare professionals from across Qatar’s health sector, and a number of regional and International delegations. HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior opened the exhibition accompanying the forum, the Knowledge Zone, where he was briefed on the projects implemented by the State in the health sector and in improving the health care services offered to the people of Qatar. In her opening address, Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al-Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, emphasized the importance the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 as a seminal moment for Qatar’s health system. “Our ambition for the next stage in our journey is to make sure that all the population living in Qatar enjoys better health. This would be by further improving the health care system capacity and performance, a renewed effort on health promotion and diseases prevention and an efficient use of the available resources,” she added. Her Excellency further emphasized that the health system has witnessed enormous progress under the National Health Strategy 2011-2016, and through the launch of the new strategy Qatar is building on this momentum to define a new path forward, inspired by the Qatar National Vision 2030. Her Excellency stressed that the important achievements by the State of Qatar in the field of health was a result of the strong support and vision of the wise leadership of His Highness The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, noting that Qatar is now ranked 13th in the world for healthcare systems and first in the Middle East by the Legatum Institute in its Annual Global Prosperity Index. She also thanked His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, for for his strong support, and his continuous interest in the development and improvements in the health sector. NHS 2018-2022, which launched under the theme ‘Our Health, Our Future’ reflects a global shift in thinking by focusing on seven priority population groups. It aims to shape services around people, patients and their families and change the way the health system works, moving from focusing on treating the symptoms of disease to helping people stay healthy. The new strategy sets out 19 national targets against which progress will be measured. These include specific targets for increasing physical activity amongst adolescents, implementing workplace wellness programs and improving access to mental health services. Strengthening collaboration between the various providers within Qatar’s health system is a key priority of NHS 2018-2022 and was a recurring message throughout the launch event. In the opening film, senior leaders from the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation and Sidra Medicine highlighted the importance of working together as one system for the benefit of patients. Dr. Mariam Abdulmalik, Managing Director of Primary Care Corporation, highlighted the role of primary care within the strategy: “A key pillar of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 is the shift from focusing on diseases to enhancing preventative health services. As the first point of contact for most patients in Qatar’s health system, primary care has a central role to play in realizing this ambition,” she stated. “Through this new strategy, we will intensify our commitment to expanding health and wellness services across Qatar, with a focus on empowering people to make the right decisions for their health,” added Dr. Abdulmalik. “It is particularly fitting that the launch of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 takes place at this important healthcare quality event in front of more than 2,500 doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and corporate staff from within Qatar’s health sector,” said Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer at Hamad Medical Corporation. “It is these very people whose commitment, expertize and passion will deliver the plans within this strategy and help Qatar’s health system successfully achieve the next phase of its health transformation,” added Dr. Al Ansari.