Students, faculty and staff from the University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ) hosted an interactive discussion forum on October 15 to discuss Qatar’s Academic Health System (AHS).
The student-led event, developed by a cohort of Bachelor of Nursing students from UCQ, was attended by nearly 100 UCQ students, faculty and staff. Professor Edward Hillhouse (pictured), Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) A/Chief of Medical, Academic and Research Affairs, and Chief Policy Advisor on Academic Health Systems, delivered the keynote address.
The AHS, which is a partnership amongst leading academic and research institutions and healthcare providers in Qatar, is an internationally recognized model for pioneering research and medical discoveries and for making them available to patients.
In his remarks, Professor Hillhouse discussed the importance of the AHS in transforming healthcare, education and research in Qatar, and highlighted the key role that nurses will play in the developing system.
“A key principle of the AHS will be the delivery of care through multidisciplinary and inter-professional teams which will include doctors, nurses, pharmacists and various allied health professionals,” he said. “The highest standards of patient care will come from all members of the team working together collaboratively, putting the patient as their central focus,” advised Professor Hillhouse. “Training our future healthcare providers, especially nurses, to work collaboratively in inter-professional teams is an integral tenet of the AHS model that will help facilitate improved healthcare outcomes for patients. “
Professor Hillhouse added, “Each of you here today are members of a pioneering initiative, as future nurse leaders, researchers and educators, to develop the world’s first nationwide AHS. With your support, we will achieve our goal of becoming the region’s leading healthcare partnership by 2016”.
The event included an engaging panel discussion, with students and audience members eager to learn more about the developing AHS, how it will transform healthcare in Qatar, and ways in which they can become engaged in its development.
One of the participating Qatari students, who is a third year Bachelor of Nursing student at UCQ and practicing nurse at HMC, commented that she and her fellow students are very motivated by the chance to engage in practical terms in the development of the AHS in Qatar. They appreciated that this is a great opportunity to engage in nurse-led clinical research, and a motivation to become the next generation of nurse leaders in Qatar. Being able to have a positive impact on patient care is also a strong motivator.
Launched in 2011, Qatar’s AHS is transforming health locally by pioneering research and clinical discoveries, delivering high quality care, and educating world-class healthcare professionals. Current partners include Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Qatar University, University of Calgary – Qatar, Primary Health Care Corporation, College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
AHSs bring together academic and healthcare providers to form a single partnership, working towards a shared vision. An AHS aims to transform medicine and health on a local and global scale, as well as to undertake innovative research and translate the results into healthcare solutions for patients which can include clinical and therapeutic regimes. Qatar’s AHS will educate a multi-cultural workforce and future clinical, operational and scientific leaders; it will encourage the practice of evidence-based healthcare and furthermore support social responsibility.
Qatar’s AHS incorporates six key themes in order to achieve the best standard of healthcare for the region. These are:
3. Clinical Practice
4. Community engagement
5. Human resources
6. Information systems
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