Gulf | Qatar

Health-care challenges to be tackled at Doha meet

Innovations to offer policy makers practical options to improve health care for all

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 13:59 September 30, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Pressing global health-care challenges will be tackled by some of the world’s leading medical, academic and government professionals when they convene at the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in the Qatari capital Doha on December 10-11.

WISH will also unveil a Global Innovation Diffusion Study, the first of its kind, to assess eight countries in terms of how their systems contribute toward transformative change — whether through innovation in technology, processes or business models.

Chaired by Shaikha Mouza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the Summit will bring together more than 500 global health innovators including heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and influential business leaders.

Over two days, participants will discuss practical, sustainable and innovative ways to address some of the huge health challenges currently faced worldwide.

The summit’s forums will seek to stimulate discussion and encourage the uptake of innovative approaches for dealing with some of the world’s most critical health-care challenges that include obesity, mental health, road traffic injuries, accountable care, antimicrobial resistance, end-of-life, patient engagement, and big data and health care, organisers said.

The forums will draw on the most exciting innovations in these fields from around the world to identify for policymakers practical options that have the potential to positively impact upon these pressing challenges and improve health care for all.

“Innovation plays a pivotal role in addressing global health challenges,” Professor Lord Darzi of Denham, Chairman for the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Executive Chair of WISH, said. “If we can make it easier for countries to look after their people in innovative and accessible ways then we will all benefit, regardless of where we live or what kind of lifestyle we have. This is not limited to traditional providers of health care – the best changes happen when other sectors contribute as well,” he said at a conference in Doha on Sunday.

WISH is set to stimulate discussion and application of the most practical and innovative ideas that can be implemented around the globe by bringing together global policy makers, academics, scientists, researchers, NGOs, and business leaders, he added.

The summit reinforces Qatar’s role as an emerging centre for medical innovation.

WISH was announced by Shaikha Mouza during last year’s Global Health Policy Summit in London’s Guildhall, co-organised by Qatar Foundation and Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation.

“Healthy populations and good healthcare are priorities for every nation,” she said. “Yet health-care providers around the world are faced with critical challenges: delivering quality and affordable health care; financing the discovery of the best prevention techniques and interventions; and integrating this knowledge into public health and social policies. WISH will champion radical innovation in health in order to implement positive changes across the globe.”

With Qatar unveiling massive health-care reform, Qatar Foundation has successfully launched numerous initiatives – from biomedical research to maternal health and clinical care.

“Qatar Foundation has a clear commitment to help develop Qatar into a global centre for excellence in healthcare and medical innovation,” Sa’ad Al Muhannadi, President of Qatar Foundation, said. “Through WISH, Qatar Foundation seeks to produce concrete, permanent solutions in health-care advocacy, policy, research and delivery – all critical to having a positive impact on the global healthcare sector.”

Qatar Foundation said that it was leading medical programmes to target treatments for prevalent diseases in Qatar and across the region, with the goal of sharing solutions worldwide. The Foundation also seeks to work with a growing alliance of professionals who are committed to identifying the most promising health-care innovations and developing them into practical solutions for policy-makers.

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