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25th National Forum: Challenges and Opportunities in Qatar

By Maureen Bisognano | Monday, December 9, 2013
The following is part of a series of guest posts celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the IHI National Forum. Mike Richmond, MD, is Chief of Medical, Academic, and Research Affairs at Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar.

Mike Richmond

Whilst I have attended a few of the European-based IHI Forums, this is only my second visit to the IHI National Forum in the US. But through the ongoing discussions and collaboration on joint projects we have engaged in over the past 18 months, I feel a close affinity to the IHI team. This affinity is based on mutual respect and admiration, and a willingness to share knowledge and expertise on all sides to learn and improve. 

Qatar is a small country but one that is on a trajectory of exponential growth. This growth presents a set of unique challenges in different sectors, health care being one.

Our population is aging, and with the onset of modern lifestyles, we are seeing a growing burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As the country is literally in a heavy construction phase, we have a skewed labour-force that includes a large percentage of male workers who have their own specialized health care needs.

But increasingly, our patients are more discerning and expect the finest health care to be available to them within this country. All of these trends are common to hospital providers around the world, but many of them are more pronounced here in Qatar.

Whilst the challenges may be considerable, so too are our opportunities. We have strong and supportive partner organizations, including those in Qatar’s Academic Health System, and others internationally. Qatar’s long-term vision incorporates a high standard of affordable health care for all its citizens. 

In order for Hamad Medical Corporation to deliver on this vision, we need to support a culture of quality and safety. The skills that are taught at an IHI Forum are designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of multi-disciplinary teams. I am therefore delighted to take part in this National Forum in Orlando – and even more so, to have the IHI collaborating with us to bring the next Middle East Forum to Qatar in April 2014.

-Mike Richmond

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