Posted on May 06, 2017

The fifth Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare (ME Forum 2017), an international quality improvement conference for healthcare professionals, was officially opened by His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Public Health.

The opening was held in the presence of representatives from local and the GCC Ministries of Health and distinguished guests from Qatar. Organized by HMC and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), this year’s Forum saw greater involvement from other healthcare partners and a wider range of delegates, demonstrating the strategic importance placed by inter-professional groups on promoting quality and safety improvement in the region.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Her Excellency noted that the Forum’s focus this year aligned closely with the Ministry of Public Health’s efforts to transform and enhance its healthcare sector. Her Excellency also outlined the quality improvement journey taken over the past five years since the first Middle East Forum was arranged. “Our shared passion for excellence in healthcare is what unites us every day in the work that we do and keeps us coming back to this conference year upon year,” said HE Al Kuwari. “At the heart of everything we do needs to be a willingness to change and adapt, to learn new ways of working and aspire to be the very best for our patients. Participation in this Forum is a testimony to the value that so many healthcare professionals place in investing their time and effort to deliver better care to our patients”.

HE Al Kuwari highlighted the developments and progress made across the public health system since the Forum’s first year. She noted that the ME Forum is a unique professional development opportunity for healthcare industry employees in the region who are driven by a desire for excellence in patient care. She also noted that the clinical poster competition, being held as part of the Forum program, was evidence of real progress in healthcare delivery improvement in the GCC. “Investment in human capital is essential for our healthcare systems to progress and manage increasingly complex issues. And this forum reflects the importance that we place on the professional development of our healthcare workforce,” added HE Al Kuwari.

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During her opening presentation, HE Al Kuwari announced the launch of the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 Consultation, a first-of-its-kind survey inviting feedback on public health issues in Qatar. Data from the survey will be used to inform the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 prior to its formal launch later this year. Ms. Maureen Bisognano, President Emerita and Senior Fellow at IHI and a long-time associate of HMC explained in an opening presentation: “There is a growing realization that the successful health and healthcare systems of the future will be those that work simultaneously to enhance the experience of care that individuals receive, improving the health of populations, while also reducing the per capita costs of healthcare. Qatar has demonstrated its determination to optimize its healthcare system and support a sustainable framework that will ensure the continued delivery of high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to future generations.”

Following the opening ceremony, the first plenary session featured IHI President and CEO, Mr. Derek Feeley, who described the importance of safety as a national priority for the Triple Aim. He explained: “The ‘Triple Aim’ framework serves as a foundation for organizations and communities around the world to successfully navigate the transition from a focus on healthcare to optimizing health for individuals and populations.” “We’re seeing inspiring improvements in healthcare all around the world, and I am so impressed by the overall commitment to quality and safety demonstrated in Qatar. I’m also delighted with our continued partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation. It continues to model the commitment and leadership that health systems need to succeed. By hosting this Forum, HMC is helping to spread innovation and proven methods throughout the region,” Mr. Feeley added. 

He further illustrated several ways in which healthcare leaders can commit to changing the patient safety standard through adopting proven strategies to deliver safer, more effective, and more compassionate care while also promoting joy in the healthcare workforce. The ME Forum features a total of five plenary speakers and around 50 targeted presentations and interactive workshops, offering delegates valuable opportunities to pursue professional development by engaging with quality improvement experts and like-minded healthcare professionals from around the world.

Furthermore, the ME Forum is featuring the highly anticipated poster exhibition and competition, which is a key component of the quality improvement and safety program.