Posted on November 11, 2014

EY recently held a Healthcare Symposium in Doha which provided a platform for healthcare specialists to share their knowledge and discuss the implementation of Qatar’s local healthcare system strategy. Sessions were held by healthcare experts who discussed opportunities for the National Health Strategy in Qatar, how health systems prepare for major events and can leverage from them, primary care, and how systems and incentives are a lever in changing patient and provider.

EY symposium in Qatar highlights 2 [].jpgFiras Qoussous, Office Managing Partner, EY Qatar, says: “Spending in the healthcare sector is poised to rise due to numerous macro-economic and demographic changes. Qatar in particular has seen rapid growth in its expatriate population which has been putting increased pressure on local medical facilities. Additionally, treatment costs have increased rapidly, as chronic disease becomes more common and enhanced, with international standards of healthcare being expected by patients.”

The event brought together leading figures in the global healthcare industry, including Dr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin J. Al Thani, Professor Lindsey Davies, one of the most senior doctors in the UK’s Department of Health with extensive experience in leading change in national and local health systems, Dr. Clare Gerada, Chair of the primary care transformation board of the National Health Service in the London Region, and Robert Moorhead, the Director of the National Health Strategy Program in Qatar.

EY symposium in Qatar highlights 3 [].jpg

Andrea Longhi, MENA Advisory Healthcare Leader, EY, says: “Changes and challenges in the industry have prompted a major rethink on how health care is accessed, delivered and financed. These changes are opening opportunities for hospitals, health insurers and other health care-focused organizations to rethink strategies and find innovations in lowering costs while delivering exceptional value. These changes are more profound for rapid growth markets like Qatar and the rest of the GCC.”

Healthcare spending in the region is expected to increase by a CAGR of 11.4% from 2010-2015. GCC governments are trying to make significant investments to support healthcare provision and help the industry to grow to international standards. Several GCC nations have announced plans to ramp up infrastructure to cater to rising demand, with major healthcare projects across the region being planned to accommodate the ever growing demand.

“The symposium raised some important discussions around the execution of the National Health Strategy in Qatar. With an ambitious future ahead of the country, the Government will need to engage the private sector to tackle local healthcare challenges, a trend that will benefit from the increasing consolidation of private healthcare providers. Creating a dialogue, where best practices can be discussed with global healthcare experts and experiences can be shared to enrich the future of Qatar’s healthcare system, is imperative for the sector to grow and prosper,” concluded Longhi.