DOHA: Qatar will see a massive expansion of health care facilities in the next few years, including several specialised hospitals to treat life-threatening diseases that are relevant to the country.
However, setting up of specialised facilities is based on a thorough review of the diseases and health requirements of the citizens, the Minister of Public Health H E Abdullah bin Khalid Al Qahtani has said.
The Minister said that the next few years will see completion of several major projects in health sector that are currently in different phases of construction. They include an additional hospital in Al Khor, a new cancer hospital and another for dental care, besides expansion of the Heart Hospital. The new hospitals at the Hamad Medical City will be ready for operation by mid-2015 while construction of three workers’ hospitals and 17 new health centers is in progress, the Minister said, talking to the media during a visit to the Hamad Medical City on Tuesday.
“This means that the forthcoming health projects will be bigger than the existing ones. This poses a major challenge to us,” said the Minister. He said a rapid growth in the country’s population over the past years has made such expansion a necessity.
The Minister said the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) will hand over the new hospitals under construction at the Hamad Medical City by the end of 2014 and the facilities will be ready for operation by mid-2015.
The QR2.13bn hospital project include the new Women’s Hospital, the Ambulatory and Minimally Invasive Surgical Hospital, the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Translational Research Institute and Bio-Bank.
Asked if the new hospital projects once completed would reduce the number of citizens seeking treatment abroad, the Minister explained that the country had a clear policy on establishing specialised clinics and hospitals. “We have reviewed the profiles of each person sent abroad for treatment to know why he had been sent and to see if it is possible to provide that treatment here,” said the Minister.
“If the number of patients (with certain disease) is high we will try to establish a facility (to treat that disease) here. If it is not feasible to set up specialised sections, it is preferable to send the patients abroad,” he added.