By Neeraj Gangal
Move aims to trace flow of health spending, resource allocation within health sector.
Qatar launched on Thursday a set of accounts that describe all expenditure flows within the health sector, both governmental and non-governmental, according to a report.
The a National Health Accounts (NHA) aims to trace the flow of health spending and resource allocation within the health sector, Gulf Times said.
The promotion of the NHA system and its needs in the Qatar health system was initiated by the visit of World Health Organisation’s consultants in February 2009, the daily added.
The consultants emphasised during their meetings with major stakeholders that the development of a comprehensive national health account was very crucial.
According to Gulf Times, the Health Financing and Insurance department at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) on Thursday organised the first workshop for stakeholders to explain the rationale behind the launch of the NHA.
SCH policy assistant secretary general Dr Faleh Mohamed H Ali said knowledge of health accounts was a way to lead countries to accurately measure their health sector financing, the paper reported.
“NHA has several roles in one country’s healthcare system and the accounts determine how large the health system is and what are its constituent parts,” he said.
Dr Ali said another major role of NHA was to clearly identify the principal dimension of healthcare system before measuring it, Gulf Times reported.
Ali pointed out that considerable efforts were directed in addressing the problem of health financing and other concerns of the health sector in Qatar, but much still remained to be done in order to adequately improve the performance of the health systems and their services.
“The most significant constraints have been the absence of appropriate health management information system including data on sources and lack of clear traces of uses of the funds,” he said.
Three new hospitals and two primary health centres to cater are being planned in Qatar to cater exclusively to the needs of labourers.
The facilities, which are expected to be completed in up to four years, aim to ease the pressure on existing hospitals, particularly the Hamad Hospital’s Emergency Department, Gulf Times reported last week.
“These hospitals and health centres are being planned due to the increase in population and especially for the labourers and we hope once completed, they would help ease pressure on facilities such as Hamad General Hospital and other health centres,” Dr Jamal Khanji, Supreme Council of Health’s Medical Licensing Department acting director told the paper.
The establishment of healthcare facilities exclusively for labourers must be approached extremely carefully in order to ensure that the patients are offered the same level of care and treatment as would be the case at the country's major hospitals. Managed badly, this step will only succeed in setting up a two-tier healthcare system, offering cheap and therefore less comprehensive services to those who are exposed to greater risk of disease and injury in the community.