Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary
Healthcare Corporation (PHCC) recently held training sessions for primary care
physicians to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of cancer.
Following the launch of the Qatar National Cancer Strategy in 2011, HMC and PHCC
are continuing to drive towards a 48 hour referral for patients with a suspected
cancer to be seen by a specialist doctor.
A series of these PHCC physician training workshops have been held in Doha in
November and early December and involved HMC senior consultants across a
number of specialties delivering lectures on the early signs and symptoms of cancer.
The lectures, which were well received by the PHCC physicians, covered many of
the more common cancer types including urology, colorectal, breast, neuro-oncology
(brain), head and neck, and lung. Members of the HMC dedicated cancer team also
delivered lectures on the referral process itself.
Dr. Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, the Managing Director of PHCC, said: “PHCC firmly
supports the initiative to detect suspected cancer cases by early signs and
symptoms in Qatar. PHCC is working to tackle a rapid and definitive diagnosis to
save lives and to make the community be aware of the importance of detecting
cancer as soon as possible because an early detection of cancer increases the
chances of successful treatment.”
David Astley, Chief of Tertiary Hospitals and CEO of NCCCR said “The importance
of being seen as quickly as possible is paramount to patients, as early detection and
diagnosis of cancer can save lives.”
HMC launched a special form for patients with a suspected cancer in April 2012.
This form is used by PHCC physicians to identify patients with a possible diagnosis
of cancer who require referral to a specialist clinic at HMC, and these referrals are
then treated as urgent. All suspected cancer referrals are offered an appointment
at a specialist clinic within 48 hrs of receiving the referral. Quick and timely access
to specialist clinics is one of the pivotal key performance indicator measures of the
Qatar National Cancer Strategy, of which it states that all urgent suspected cancer
referrals are made to specialist clinics via a standardized process, and within 48 hrs.
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