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Qatar gears up for innovation summit

Advisory board, forum members to hold meeting in Doha

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:46 September 14, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: An international health forum that will look into practical and innovative solutions to global health-care challenges will highlight the urgent need for radical innovation when some of the key participants meet in Doha later this month.

The inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) will be held in the Qatar capital on December 10-11 and will bring together heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and thinkers, as well as some of the world’s most influential business leaders.

The high-profile event, the successor to last year’s Global Health Policy Summit in London, will by organised by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

However, organisers have planned a meeting of the advisory members and forum members on September 29 well ahead of the summit. For organisers, deep commitment to the national and international success of WISH is of paramount importance.

Mohammad Fat’hi Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation, had earlier emphasised the organisation’s firm commitment to WISH and to advancing health care through the key areas of research, development and education. “We now have a much more enhanced understanding of how innovation can overcome globalised health-care challenges, and the value of creating a far-reaching network that is a lasting resource for innovators and reformers worldwide.”

The mission of WISH, closely aligned to the vision of Shaikha Mouza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, represents her ongoing commitment to raising the standards of health care nationally and internationally, organisers said in remarks e-mailed to Gulf News. Shaikha Mouza announced WISH during last year’s Global Health Policy Summit in London’s Guildhall, jointly organised by Qatar Foundation and Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation.

In her speech, she urged delegates to invest their efforts into coordinating and improving prevention and treatment of diseases by exchanging ideas, collaborating, and learning from global experiences.

“WISH is about action,” Lord Darzi of Denham, Chairman for the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Executive Chair of WISH, said. “This Summit will look at ideas which are evidence-based, scalable, and sustainable – often ideas which have already been implemented somewhere in the world – and work out how to implement them far more widely. The Summit will be based on the concept that radical innovation is needed to meet the world’s health challenges, and that this requires more collaboration between those bodies and individuals that are in a position to make a difference. I hope that in time this annual event will become the Davos of health care.”

The Summit’s working groups will focus on eight themes — obesity, mental health, integrated and accountable care, end-of-life, road traffic accidents, empowering patients, antimacrobial resistance and big data.

According to organisers, WISH’s objectives highlight Qatar’s growing role as an emerging centre for health-care innovation.

“Through WISH, Qatar Foundation aims to create tangible and long-lasting solutions in health-care advocacy, policy, research and delivery,” they said. “In keeping with this objective, the Summit has been designed to build a network of health experts and to facilitate an interdisciplinary approach, as well as best practices that can transform health-care policies and systems globally.”

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