HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday attended the opening of the Cuban Hospital in Dukhan. The Emir unveiled the memorial plaque of the hospital, and toured the facility where he was briefed about its different sections.
The opening ceremony was also attended by several sheikhs, ministers, Cuban Health Minister Dr Roberto Morales and guests.
In an address he delivered on the occasion, HE the Public Health Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani, who is also secretary general of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), highlighted the close relations binding Qatar and Cuba. “Today forms a unique day for the State of Qatar and the Republic of Cuba which are enjoying close ties of co-operation and reciprocal respect,” he said.
The minister welcomed over 200 medical professionals provided by Cuba saying: “We are waiting for these cadres’ contribution to provide highly qualitative and advanced medical care service to our patients”.
The name of Dukhan Hospital was changed last November to Cuban Hospital in recognition of the special and distinguished ties of partnership existing between the two countries, and the specialised clinical services provided by Cuba in this hospital.
Referring to the wide reputation Cuba enjoys worldwide in the field of healthcare, Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani said Cuba is one of the most advanced countries worldwide in this field and is exporting its medical expertise to several countries.
Al-Qahtani said that there are about 40,000 Cuban medical personnel working in more than 68 countries as they are now transferring their unique experience to Qatar.
The newly opened Cuban Hospital is a modern therapeutic facility designed to make it capable of meeting the current needs of the population of the western region of the country, which is witnessing steady growth in the population, but it would also have the ability to expand health services in the future to become a centre to support integrated healthcare.
Al-Qahtani pointed out that the Cuban Hospital, functioning under the umbrella of the Hamad Medical Corporation, will benefit all patients, “as it ensures the best levels of care and treatment according to international standards”.
Last year outpatient clinics were opened at the hospital to provide laboratory services, radiology and pharmacy.
Meanwhile, Cuban Health Minister Dr Roberto Morales, inaugurating the Cuban Hospital, reiterated the strength of bilateral relations between the two countries that completed 23 years at the beginning of 2012.
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Cuba, we have done a lot of joint efforts to develop the different fields of co-operation. This hospital is the product of the joint efforts, the excellent relationships, and the exchange of experiences and views between HH the Emir and the Cuban leader,” Morales said.
Morales highlighted the role of Qatar Petroleum, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Supreme Council of Health in making the project a success and implementing it in accordance with the highest international standards.
Cuba has provided the hospital with more than 200 highly qualified medical professionals including doctors, nurses and specialists in the fields of rehabilitation, dentistry, pathology, biomedicine and radiology, and Morales didn’t rule out the possibility of adding more.
Morales spoke of the medical research in Cuba to address the health concerns his country is facing.
The minister said that Cuba has managed to bring child mortality rate down to 4.9 out of 1,000 and eliminate malaria, diphtheria, fever, tetanus and meningitis in addition to a national child vaccination programme to ensure protective immunity to all citizens.
Cuba is working on a new health system to cope with the economic and social development, Morales said, as he pointed to the pressures and economic sanctions that affected the country’s health sector.
Meanwhile, HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani met Cuba’s Health Minister Dr Roberto Morales and his accompanying delegation, on the sidelines of the opening of the Cuban Hospital in Dukhan yesterday. Aspects of co-operation between Qatar and Cuba, mainly in the medical sectors, were reviewed during the meeting.
source: Gulf Times