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Posted On: 15 July 2020 09:58 am
Updated On: 15 July 2020 09:35 pm

H.H. the Amir believes health sector vital, enabling it to achieve top results: MoPH Minister

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Her Excellency (H.E.) Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari affirmed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attached great importance to the healthcare sector, adding that the wonderful results achieved in this sector today is a direct result of His Highness wise vision of investing in healthcare.

H.E. the Minister of Public Health made the statements during her meeting with a group of cadres of intensive care units affiliated with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

H.E. the Minister explained that the provision of sufficient clinical capacity at intensive care units and high-quality treatment services, that are provided to patients, are the essential elements of the ability of Qatar to manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

She added that Qatar has achieved the second lowest death rate from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the world, despite the high infection rate of the disease.

H.E. Dr. Al Kuwari said that all components of the health care system in Qatar have worked since the beginning of the pandemic to ensure their ability to provide the best services, adding that work has been done to facilitate access to healthcare services and expand the capacity of intensive care units to provide the necessary treatment for every patient who needs it without delay.

She added that the healthcare system in Qatar and its efficiency, effectiveness, and world-class level enabled the expansion and reuse of existing resources and facilities quickly, so 3,500 hospital beds and 700 beds in intensive care units were provided for COVID-19 patients.

H.E. the Minister of Public Health praised all the intensive care unit teams at HMC hospitals, especially in Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, for their professionalism, quality, and caring healthcare services for COVID-19 patients.

She pointed out that the death rate among COVID-19 patients at intensive care units in Qatar was about 9%, while the death rate at intensive care units in most developed countries was about 35%.

H.E. the Minister appreciated the intensive care unit teams' work and great efforts to ensure the availability of the latest and best medical treatments and protocols for patients. She stressed that Qatar has dealt with this pandemic decisively and effectively through the implementation of strict measures that helped contain the spread of the virus.

"We have all made great sacrifices, but it is important that we continue to adhere to infection control measures while taking precautions to protect the health of most vulnerable individuals to the complications of this virus in our society," she said.

She urged the public to maintain social distance, wear masks, wash hands, and call 16000 or visit one of the healthcare facilities designated for COVID-19 tests in case of any symptoms of the disease.

SWICC Chairman at HMC Dr. Saad Al Kaabi said many staff have worked behind the scenes for months to deliver on a plan that would ensure the right care was available at the right time and place, and that there was no shortage of beds for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

"Seven facilities were designated to care for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients and through the hard work of many individuals, we were able to significantly expand acute and critical care capacity. By assigning hospitals as dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities we have been able to keep the majority of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in a small number of locations. This has not only ensured there was dedicated, specially trained staff and the necessary equipment available to these patients, but also that patients who required non-COVID-19 care could access treatment more safely," added Dr. Al Kaabi.

For his part, Chairman of HMC's Department of Internal Medicine and Acting Chairman of ICUs Dr. Ahmed Al Mohammed said since March more than 1,370 patients with COVID-19 have been cared for by ICU's located across HMC. He said Qatar's ability to effectively treat patients with the most severe symptoms in highly-advanced Intensive Care Units is a key factor in why Qatar's COVID-19 mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world.

"Due to Qatar's investment in critical care and ICU facilities, we have been able to ensure patients at risk for severe COVID-19 illness received more sophisticated care. From establishing new ICU beds at Ras Laffan Hospital, to re-purposing beds to expand capacity at facilities like Hazm Mebaireek General and The Cuban Hospital, we have been able to ensure patients who require intensive treatment and advanced respiratory support have access to the care they need. Working together as a health system we implemented a strategy that has allowed us to help prevent the high death rates seen in many countries," added Dr. Al Mohammed.

"Our comprehensive plan to expand hospital capacity to meet the increased demand from COVID-19 delivered significant expansion of intensive care services more than tripling ICU capacity to over 700 beds across our hospital system. Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, the main COVID-19 hospital, increased its ICU capacity from just 8 beds to 226 beds, and has to date treated over 1,180 patients in ICU. More than 680 of these patients have been intubated and received mechanical ventilation, while our team has performed a range of procedures including bronchoscopies, advanced hemodynamic monitoring, continuous venovenous hemofiltration as renal replacement therapy, central line placement and tracheostomies" said the Head of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital Dr. Mohamad Khatib

"Being able to provide patients with these advanced treatments without delay has, for many patients, been the difference between life and death. This is evidenced in the mortality rate for COVID-19 patients admitted to ICU in Qatar, which is around 9%, one of the lowest in the world," added Dr. Mohamad Khatib.

Source: QNA