Doha – HE Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari launched today the National Cancer Framework 2017-2022 “Achieving Excellence in Cancer care: A vision for 2022.” The event marked the start of a new five-year plan to build on the solid foundations developed through the implementation of the National Cancer Strategy 2011-2016.

The significant progress made in cancer care as a result of the implementation of the National Cancer Strategy 2011-2016 was highlighted at the event. The National Cancer Strategy 2011-2016, which was the first disease specific strategy for Qatar was launched in 2011.

HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari attended the meeting. “It had been hugely encouraging to watch the development of Cancer services in Qatar. The National Cancer Strategy 2011-2016 was a significant step in our country’s journey to increase public awareness of all aspects of cancer and the services available. The achievements of this strategy, inclusive of the improvements in care delivered, have been well documented but I would like to draw attention in particular to improvements in engagement with our patients and communities. By improving our understanding of the needs of our patients, we are delivering care that is not just of high clinical quality, but has a meaningful positive impact on people’s lives,” said Dr Al Kuwari.

She added that “through implementation of the programs set out in this framework, cancer services in Qatar have the opportunity to become among the best in the world. It is important that the whole system is clear in its commitment to coming together and working with a common purpose to deliver the quality of services and experience that our families, friends and community deserve.” Keynote addresses from senior leaders in cancer care set out the ambitions of the five-year cancer framework, which are centred around the cancer patient pathway. Key areas of focus will be to support the objectives within the Public Health Strategy for Qatar, to optimise the health and wellbeing of the Qatari and resident population with particular focus on developing healthier lifestyles, reducing tobacco consumption, and supporting the improved education and understanding of cancer. The new framework will ensure earlier intervention through enhanced screening programs, continued rapid diagnosis, and treatment, which will ensure cancer diagnoses are made earlier when treatment can be less invasive with improved outcomes. The framework recognizes the importance of supporting patients across the entire pathway and has an increased focus on understanding the patient experience, and working with patients in the development of services.

What has changed significantly over the last five years has been the availability of cancer data through the development of electronic medical records, and the Qatar National Cancer Registry. As a result, the framework will allow for the measurement and monitoring of the progress made during implementation, using the approach indicated by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim”, seeking in all of our activities to deliver Better Health, Better Care and Better Value.

In his opening address, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, leading cancer surgeon and chair of the National Cancer Committee highlighted the vision and commitment across the health sector in delivering the National Cancer Strategy. He emphasized the importance of supporting patients across the entire patient pathway.

“The improvements in services in recent years have enabled us to not only talk about new equipment, facilities and staff in the framework, although these things are of course still important, but we can now also talk about patient engagement, experience, and most importantly outcomes,” Said Lord Darzi.

He expressed that he is very optimistic about the five years to come. He admitted that it will be challenge, but the positive impact that the cancer workforce can make on the lives of, not just individuals but whole communities, is something truly remarkable, and that is something worth fighting for. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency