Qatar's strategy for developing its healthcare sector in
Qatar includes a commitment to improve the quality and standard of
'life' by promoting education and reform in Life
In promoting research in Life Sciences, there are a number of
existing key players including the following:
Qatar Foundation for Education,
Science and Community Development (QF) is a private, chartered,
nonprofit organization that has, amongst other things, identified
research of the Life Sciences as a catalyst for expanding and
diversifying Qatar's economy, enhancing the education of its
citizens and increasing the quality of healthcare, wellbeing, and
security of its citizens.
In 2006, QF established the Qatar
National Research Fund, as part of it's ongoing commitment to
establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy, fostering research
in, amongst other things, Life Sciences.
Sidra Medical and Research Center is
a teaching and research centre that has commenced partial operation
this year, and has recently appointed Qatar's Minister of
Public Health, Dr. Hanan Al-Kuwari, to the board of governors for
Sidra as a sign of confidence in Sidra and its strategy.
World Innovation Summit for Health
(WISH) is a global initiative of QF with a mandate to inspire
healthcare innovation and promote best practices.
In 2015, Hamad bin Khalifa University launched three new
postgraduate programs within its College of Science and Engineering
to promote education in Life Sciences, namely a masters and PhD
program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Sustainable Energy,
and Sustainable Environment.
Qatar is developing an environment that allows private
investment in Life Sciences, as follows:
The Foreign Investment Law allows for
foreigners to apply for an exemption to the requirement that
foreigners own no more than forty nine percent of a limited
liability company if the foreigner can demonstrate that the
activities it will carry out in Qatar are unique and for the public
benefit of Qatar. This exemption is only applicable to certain
sectors including the healthcare sector.
Qatar Science and Technology Park
(QSTP) is a special free zone status which is also a centre of
research and commercial excellence for scientific development and
regionally produced intellectual property for both Qatari and
international partners. The QSTP promotes the research and
commercialisation of technology projects and training. QSTP
licensed entities are not subject to Qatar tax.
Qatar Financial Centre, whilst not
traditionally a place for healthcare providers to carry out
business in Qatar, has made a strategic decision to diversify from
licensing only financial institutions to license entities involved
in other sectors such as healthcare, education and sports. While a
company cannot trade in the QFC (ie. sell tangible products) it can
set up in the QFC as an unregulated entity to provide advisory and
consultancy services. The entities registered within the QFC may
operate and trade without a local sponsor or service agent (i.e.
100% non-Qatari ownership is permitted, and are governed by the QFC
rules and regulations, including tax and employment
Research in Life Sciences is
undergoing tremendous change thanks to advances in high throughput
analysis, biomedical engineering, stem cells and gene therapy
breakthroughs. The hallmark of the new global research model is
collaboration – scientists forming partnerships based on
research interests, rather than physical locations. It is a model
well-suited to the State of Qatar, which is physically small, but
large in talent, ambition, and resources.
The need for life sciences research is great. The last few
decades have witnessed a rapid increase in the prevalence of
chronic and severe diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and
cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, which have devastating
health and economic consequences, pose a serious threat to public
health in Qatar and throughout the Middle East. The situation calls
for urgent preventive and early detection strategies as well as
The Ministry of Public Health has recently confirmed that a new
five-year plan will be launched after completion of the current
National Health Strategy 2011- 2016 demonstrating the Qatari
government's continued focus on achieving its National Vison
2030, and in particular the healthcare sector as a means not only
to provide better care and resources to its citizens, but to also
diversify its mainly oil dependent economy.
Apart from feeble attempts by health authorities and efforts of charitable organizations, little has been done in Nigeria and a host of underdeveloped and developing economies to tackle the issue of mental health and indeed the law governing that very field of Medicare.
The Minister of Health has published certain proposed amendments to the so-called Medicine Pricing Regulations for public comment in the Government Gazette on 6 July 2012.
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