Qatar relaunches new look health ministry

Qatar has abolished the Ministry of Health and set up a new authority in an attempt to improve health services.

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By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  May 11, 2005

Qatar has abolished the Ministry of Health and set up a new authority in an attempt to improve health services. A priority for the National Health Authority is to reduce waiting time for patients at public clinics and hospitals, according to Chairwoman Shaikha Ghalia Bint Mohammad Al Thani. "The switchover from the ministry to the NHA is not a mere change in nomenclature," Shaikha Ghalia was reported as saying. "It will indeed be a shift to new concepts in health management so as to achieve high international standards in health care, both in preventive health and in therapy." The health leader said one of the first measures to be taken will be to reduce waiting time for patients at public clinics and hospitals. Other issues on the list of the top priorities are the improvement of the standard of medical services and quality control criteria, she said. Another Emiri Decree appointed Hajar Ahmad Hajar adviser to the Emir for public health affairs with the rank of minister. The other members of the board are Mohammad Ganem Al Ali, Abdullah Khalid Al Qatani, Ahmad Mahdi Al Majid, Mohammad Ali Nasser Al Hussain, Thomas Undo and Shan Griffith. According to the Emiri decision, they will serve a term of four years. Hajar said the new authority will have to face "huge challenges", but was confident it would succeed in providing exemplary health services. The decision to shut down the ministry has spread concern among its employees. Hajar could not say whether the employees would retain their jobs, but said the ministry would not give up the productive and experienced cadres in its service. "However, the NHA will address this issue soon," he added.

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