MOH News
Dr. Salman Al-Rawaf: GCC States Witness Health and Development Advancement
05 February 2015
Professor of Medicine at the Imperial College London and Director of the Bahrain-based World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training, Dr. Salman Al-Rawaf, underlined that the 78th Conference of the GCC Health Ministers Council, which wrapped up its sessions today in Riyadh under the theme: (Measuring Health Systems' Performance: the Way to Excellence), represents an important step as it targets coordinating the Gulf efforts to measure performance of health systems in the Council's states.
During his participation in the Conference, Dr. Al-Rawaf said that the GCC states witnessed a great health and developmental advancement during the last two centuries and the tendency to measure health systems performance reflects such an advancement, which aims at developing health services through identifying and promoting strength points and redressing weakness points.
He noted that there is no any framework for coordination among the Council states to measure performance of health systems in terms of quality and quantity of health services and receptivity of citizens, and also in terms of dealing with health issues in general and diseases in particular, shedding light on the importance of having controls for measuring all health programs.
Dr. Al-Rawaf expected the Conference to come out with comprehensive regulations and standards to measure health systems performance in the six-member GCC Council and the Republic of Yemen, pointing out that there are many international frameworks for measuring health systems, such as the frameworks used by the WHO and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
He indicated that the measurement process depends on several standards, namely quality and types of health services, safety (the services which maintain patient safety), availability of services and accessibility to them. The measurement process, according to Dr. Al-Rawaf, also depends on to what extent the citizens accept the health services, in addition to the cost of services and whether the services are available at a reasonable price and within reach of everyone or not.
Dr. A-Rawaf stressed that each GCC states should compare findings of its studies, researches and figures in the field of measurement of health systems performance to that of the other Gulf countries and the advanced European and American countries so as to figure out and promote strength points and redress weakness points. He also called for getting familiar with all opportunities leading to improvement of health services provided for citizens.
Concluding his speech, Dr. Al-Rawaf said that the GCC states have witnessed great strides in the health services and systems during the recent decades, which can be reflected in the provision of qualified health cadres and most-advanced equipment and laboratories.
He confirmed that the Gulf States are keen on achieving such development in order to face the various challenges, such as the great number of pilgrims throughout the year as in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and great numbers of foreign workers in all states; that is to be added to combating health emergencies and epidemics like Corona and Ebola viruses and changing patterns of diseases and spread of chronic diseases.
Dr. Al-Rawaf pointed out that measurement of health systems performance, which is the main topic on this conference's agenda, is considered one of the main challenges facing the Gulf countries in their endeavors for developing health services.

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