*Committee reports on education and land and marine environment also get Advisory Council nod
The Services and the Public Utilities Committee of the Advisory Council has made wide-ranging recommendations to streamline the healthcare delivery system in the country.
The Advisory Council's discussed the report of the committee and approved it at its regular weekly meeting Monday which was held under the chairmanship of HE the Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.
The committee's report came after the study on the request for a general discussion and the hearing of the views of the council's members during the presence of HE the Minister of Public Health to the Council's session held on 17/6/2019.
The committee recommended that priority be given to providing medical services to Qatari nationals, taking into account the priority of emergency treatment for all patients.
The committee made four recommendations including the focus of the development of the performance of health centres by increasing medical specialties in health centres to relieve pressure on outpatient clinics and government hospitals.
It also recommended the increase of the list of medicines based on geographical distribution, to meet the needs of patients in different regions of Qatar.
It called for the development of a medical appointment system in the health centres for Qatari patients by giving them the priority to meet the doctor.
In the development of the medical appointment system, the committee recommended the a schedule of outpatient clinics to ensure priority differentiation to determine medical appointments between urgent medical cases, which cannot afford delays, and ordinary medical conditions, which do not endanger the patient's life.
The committee also recommended promoting the Qatarisation of jobs in the appointments departments of Hamad Medical Corporation and its affiliated institutions and hospitals, which it said will lead to a positive impact on those departments.
It suggested an increase in the time allocated for patients with the doctors and consultants in order to reduce the repetitive appointments, which will help relieve pressure in the appointments section.
Regarding the development of emergency departments, the committee recommended developing an appropriate system that categorises patients to ensure that emergency cases are received at Hamad General Hospital and non-emergency cases are handled in health centres that have emergency services.
* Health insurance
It also suggested ensuring the provision of health insurance suitable for employment in private sector companies to be able to receive non-emergency cases, as it will help relieve the pressure on the emergency departments.
Furthermore, the committee urged re-implementation of citizens' health insurance, while correcting the mistakes of the previous experience in order to benefit the citizens by meeting their needs of health services whether provided by the government sector or the private sector.
It also suggested allowing the national private insurance sector to participate in the application of the health insurance system for citizens.
It added that the state can get the benefit of the experience and flexibility of the national private insurance sector in the application of health insurance system for citizens, especially in operational and administrative terms, and to achieve the advancement of this important aspect of the national private sector.
In the development of the operating and family rooms, the committee commended the efforts made by the Ministry of Public Health in providing home care and recommended increasing the provision of home-based medical services.
It also recommended working on increasing the beds and the rooms allocated for surgical operations, and discussed the possibility of the participation of the private sector in terms of providing the appropriate medical workforce, which is an obstacle to the optimal use of the current and future surgical operations rooms.
It urged measures to reduce the waiting period for citizens to undergo operations so as to ensure that they do not have to resort to operations in the local private sector or to travel abroad.
It called for the development of the system and procedures for patients to enter the operations rooms to make sure that the operation is ready in terms of availability of the operations room and medical staff, to avoid unjustified bed occupancy and to reduce the burden on patients.
* Regulating Zakat money
Meanwhile, Monday's meeting also council discussed the report of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee on the draft law on regulating the receiving and spending Zakat money.
After the discussion, the council approved the draft law and decided to refer its recommendations to the government.
*Draft law on regulating audit profession
The council discussed the reports of the Economic and the Financial Affairs Committee on the draft law on regulating the audit profession and the draft law on regulating partnership between the public and private sectors.
After the discussion the council approved both draft laws after a few amendments of some articles and decided to refer its recommendations on the amended draft laws to the government.
*Recommendations in education sector
The council also discussed the supplementary report of the Information and Cultural Affairs Committee on the request for a public discussion on education.
The committee confirmed its previous recommendations, which were stated under four categories, and added a few more based on the comments of the council members.
Under the curriculum development category, the committee recommended to focus on the Arabic language and Islamic education to promote the students' national identities.
In addition to giving interest to the students' social and life skills which helps them deal with the community in accordance to the Qatari social customs.
Under the students category, the committee recommended to take the needed procedures to enroll more students with special needs in education and to enable them to attain the required education which commensurate with their special needs.
The committee also recommended to re-evaluate education vouchers and to study the feasibility of its continuity.
It also recommended to review the length of the academic year and to standardise vacations between public and private schools.
Under the teachers category, the committee added a recommendation to raise the salaries of supervisors as they are of value due to their experience in education and their role in monitoring teachers' performance and developing their skills.
* Recommendations in environment
The council discussed the supplementary report of the Services and the Public Utilities Committee on the public discussion request submitted by a number of council members on the terrestrial and marine environment.
The committee recommended future plans aimed at building waste recycling plants to benefit from it to generate power or converting organic waste to compost.
It also recommended working on the safe disposal and treatment of wastewater for use in irrigating afforestation projects in different regions of the country with the participation of the private sector to enter these projects and economically benefit from them as much as possible.
The committee recommended to prepare a media plan to preserve the environment, as it is one of the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, in co-ordination with governmental entities, private sector and civil society institutions.
The media plans will involve carrying out intense awareness programmes on the importance of preserving the environment and highlighting the importance of laws and environment preserving organisations.
In addition to qualifying and training inspectors that are in charge of protecting the environment and increasing their numbers in accordance with the required numbers.
In its report the committee recommended to develop the procedures and means used to preserve the marine environment and especially the fisheries and to emphasise the prevention of overfishing and to increase the interest in natural reserves and the protection of the land in aim to protect the wild environment in most regions of the country.
In addition the committee recommended to develop the solid waste disposal methods to gradually abandon traditional methods of disposal of submerging them under the soil as currently practiced.
This is with the aim of finding practical solutions for the disposal of the existing landfills because its environmental and health damage the leakage of harmful gases and odors causes.
In addition to finding a database to show the pollution percentage in the marine and terrestrial environment and air and to provide the competent authorities with it periodically to include all areas, industrial and residential.
After extensive discussions, the Council approved the three reports on the request for a general discussion on education, the land and sea environment, and health services, adding what it deemed appropriate and decided to send its recommendations to the esteemed government.
Health insurance requirement for visit visa
The Advisory Council has recommended instructing a competent authority to verify the availability of health insurance in the application for a visit visa before approving it.
This is to prevent visitors from accessing public health services in Qatar free of charge or at a low cost.
The move would ensure the optimal use of government health facilities and prevent negative impact on health services provided to citizens and residents.