Qatar is set to overhaul its healthcare delivery system with an intense focus on prevention and awareness under an ongoing five-year plan 2011-2106 - a period during which budgetary expenditures for the sector are projected to be doubled.
According to the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) annual report for 2012, authorities are planning to build more hospitals and primary care units in all parts of the country.
Already in 2012 the number of beds at hospitals operating under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has gone up more than 10%, reaching 2,208 from 1,911 a year earlier.
Around 1,000 more beds are expected to be added until 2015, taking the total number to 3,044 in hospitals being run by the both HMC and the SCH.
As many as 11 new healthcare facilities - nine in Doha and one each in Mesaieed and Ras Laffan - are at various stages of construction and most are expected to be completed within next couple of years, easing burden on existing units.
More healthcare professionals are also being hired to meet targets of reaching out to more people in the future when the population is likely to increase by more than 30%.
The report revealed that in 2012 alone facilities working under the SCH and HMC have witnessed an increase of 15% in the total workforce, raising the number to 14, 280 from 12,360 a year earlier.
Out of 15% new entrants to the system, 8% are physicians, 13% nurses and 24% allied healthcare professionals. More healthcare professionals are to be hired in the coming two years.
During 2012, according to the report, the healthcare budget has gone up by almost 50%, indicating the country’s keenness to spend more on the rising needs of local population - nationals and residents. In next couple of years, the budgetary projections are even higher. In addition, a new system of health and social insurance would be introduced to improve the services.
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