International health experts meet in Doha
- Qatar: Tuesday, March 19 - 2013 at 17:20
- PRESS RELEASE
International health experts assembled in Doha to attend the first Middle East and North Africa regional meeting co-hosted by the US-based Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
It is focused on the development of, and models for, academic health centers.
Experts from the United States, Qatar, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Singapore, Canada, Oman, Saudi Arabia, India and Lebanon spoke at the gathering and it was attended by senior health leaders from across the MENA region and internationally.
Academic health systems integrate research, education and clinical care in a unique manner to focus on improving patient care and delivering innovative healthcare solutions.
The Washington DC-based AAHCI was formed in recognition that the global healthcare community is rapidly becoming more interconnected with many opportunities for institutional learning. AAHCI is the only international organization providing a platform for this engagement, interaction and leadership.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar's premier public healthcare provider, together with six partner organizations is developing a nationwide academic health system in Qatar; a first within the MENA region.
HMC Managing Director Hanan Al-Kuwari, PhD, said, "The international gathering highlighted the progress being made by Qatar's Academic Health System (AHS), which is using a model unique to the region."
"Qatar's AHS is bringing together our nation's education and healthcare partners to realize a shared vision of high-quality patient care," Dr. Al-Kuwari said.
"Our AHS was launched in August 2011 in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who has been a passionate advocate for the aims and objectives of the system which will pioneer clinical discoveries and make these innovations available to patients. We have made much progress since the launch of our partnership 18 months ago and have an ambitious strategy to deliver," he added.
Chief of Scientific, Faculty and Academic Affairs at HMC, Professor Edward Hillhouse, said, "The AAHCI meeting comes at a critical juncture for Qatar's developing AHS."This international gathering allows us to share knowledge, experience, innovation and best practice with colleagues from around the region and rest of the world," he said. "We can learn from the experiences of our international colleagues and adapt these to create an academic health system in Qatar which addresses the real and future healthcare needs of this growing nation."
Deputy Chief of Medical Staff for Academic Affairs and Director of Medical Education at HMC, Dr. Abdullatif Alkhal said the theme of the Doha meeting was 'The Path to Becoming an Academic Health Center'.
"It is a timely and valuable topic for those wishing to learn about academic health system models and to explore the challenges the MENA region presents," he said. "Regardless of whether academic health systems are fully formed or in developing stages, these systems share many of the same challenges despite differences in geography, language, culture, economy and health systems," he added.
AAHCI President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Steven A. Wartman, said, "In recent years, there has been renewed global interest in the role of academic health systems in leading the transformation of health services through an integrated approach to clinical practice, education and research."
"We are grateful to have this landmark AAHCI Inaugural Middle East & North Africa Regional Meeting hosted in Qatar," noted Dr. Wartman. "It is indeed impressive to see the great strides being made in Qatar to create one of the first nation-wide academic health systems. The model that is being developed holds great potential for achieving AAHCI's global mission of advancing and applying knowledge to improve health and well-being," he added.
Qatar's AHS is a dynamic partnership between Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar University, the University of Calgary - Qatar, College of the North Atlantic - Qatar, Sidra Medical and Research Center and Primary Health Care Corporation.
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