Qatar launches $604m fight against cancer

Gulf state announces first disease specific strategy, aims to transform cancer treatment over 5 years
Qatar launches $604m fight against cancer
Qatar has launched a $604m strategy to tackle rising numbers of cancer cases in the country. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 31 May 2011 06:15 PM

Qatar has launched a $604m strategy to tackle rising numbers of cancer cases in the country, health chiefs have announced.

The five-year national cancer campaign is Qatar’s first disease specific strategy and aims to transform cancer care in the country by providing world class services.

Al Amal Hospital, renamed as the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research, will be at the forefront of implementing the strategy, the Qatar Tribune reported on Tuesday.

To cope with the rising cancer cases in the country, a new cancer hospital at the HMC Medical City is also being planned, it added.

Lord Darzi of Denham, a former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the UK's Department of Health who had a leading role in preparing the strategy, said a National Screening Committee will be established in Qatar this year to drive the campaign.

Cancer awareness sessions in schools will begin in 2012, he added.

As part of the strategy, smoking-cessation clinics will be set up at all primary healthcare centres in Qatar while comprehensive screening programmes will also be introduced across the Gulf state.

Where cancer is suspected, the patient will have access to a specialist within 48 hours by 2015, he said, adding that by the end of 2011, all suspected cancer patients will be examined by a specialist within two weeks.

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