The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has organized a workshop on integrated healthcare pathway for craftsmen and manual workers with the participation of over 100 key stakeholders and decision-makers from several entities, including Ministry of Public Health; Ministry of administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs; International Labor Organization; Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery; Primary Health Care Corporation; Qatar Red Crescent; Public Works Authority (Ashghal); Qatar Petroleum; among others.
The workshop aims at providing information about the ministerial efforts underway to enhance craftsmen and manual workers' access to healthcare services and the actions to be taken to promote and improve healthcare for the migrant group in Qatar, which constitutes the largest group of working population in the country, in addition to reaching to a unified conceptual model of healthcare which will deliver better healthcare at the right place and time for craftsmen and manual workers.
Dr. Saleh Ali Al Marri, Assistant Minister of Public Health for Health Affairs, said in the opening speech of the workshop, "We are meeting today to discuss one of the seven priority population groups of the National Health Strategy (NHS) "Healthy and Safe Employees", where craftsmen and manual workers make up the largest segment of Qatar's working population. We are all aware of the fundamental role laborers play in the development of the country's infrastructure. I would like to point out that with the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaching and the size of craftsmen and manual workers population group, we have an opportunity to build on all our achievements in this field and be a model of best practices regionally and globally."
"The Ministry of Public Health, with the help of its key partners, has developed a number of comprehensive plans aimed at providing reliable and transparent data that will help improve workers' working conditions through creating an information system for managing occupational health and trauma, provide a safer work environment through the development and implementation of national guidelines and policies, and, most importantly, monitor employers' compliance with these policies," added Dr. Al Marri.
Dr. Al Marri said, "These plans aim at promoting workers' wellbeing which reflects positively on protecting them and enhancing their performance at work by developing efficient wellbeing programs at the workplace aiming at promoting workers' physical and mental health and preventing risks at work."
He also stressed the importance of laying out plans for the delivery of healthcare services which addresses the specific needs of craftsmen and manual workers and focuses on prevention by developing customized health promotion programs and delivering a truly patient-centered integrated model of care. In addition, he pointed out that the implementation of these plans requires continuous support.
Dr. Asma Al Nuaimi, the Lead for NHS priority population "Healthy and Safe Employees" said, "The workshop enabled us to bring together several stakeholders across the state of Qatar and to receive very valuable inputs from them with regards to craftsmen and manual workers healthcare service provision."
"We are grateful to the institutions that have shared with us their observations and expertise which will help us develop the most appropriate model for caring for the target population. Our desire now is to move forward and continue working with our partners to improve the physical, mental and well-being of craftsmen and manual workers through integrated and seamless access to healthcare all over Qatar," added Dr. Al Nuaimi.
Jaber Ali Al Marri, head of health and occupational safety section at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor, and Social Affairs (MADLSA), reviewed several important legal provisions related to healthcare services for workers in the Qatari Labor Law.
Major Abdullah Khalifa Al Mohannadi, Director of Visa Support Services Dept at the Ministry of the Interior, demonstrated the efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Interior to facilitate services for workers at Qatari visa centers abroad, such as biometric data processing, medical examinations and signing employment contracts.
Houtan Homayounpour, Head of the International Labor Organization Project Office for the State of Qatar, said, "The Ministries of Public Health, Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs recently organized a round table meeting for a number of employers and workers with the support of the International Labor Organization, and this meeting was an important opportunity to listen to companies that shared their views on the challenges they face with the current pathway, as well as workers' feedback and reactions which will be taken into account when designing the model of care."
At the end of the workshop, the attendees held a roundtable discussion on financing mechanisms, and the challenges facing data collection and health promotion for craftsmen and manual workers.
The discussions in the workshop concluded that it is necessary to continue working together in reviewing and implementing a conceptual model of care considering the observations of the roundtable discussions, in addition to the need to collect and share more accurate and robust data for this population group, as evidence-based data can help health policymakers develop tailored care policies and guidelines.
The discussions also stressed the importance of raising employers' awareness about health and encouraging examination to enhance the wellbeing of craftsmen and manual workers and making sure they understand how workers can navigate the healthcare system.
The discussions also emphasized the importance of the roles of the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs in terms of performance and oversight, as well as raising awareness through a strong communication strategy directed to employers and workers.
Source: Qatar News Agency-QNA