The challenges of providing mental health services in a growing and diverse community were discussed at a seminar organized by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) and hosted by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
The purpose of the Mental Health Care, Law and Patients’ Rights seminar was to bring together various stakeholders, including medical and health professionals, legal and social services, law enforcement and others, to find ways to work together to meet the mental healthcare requirements of Qatar’s diverse and growing community.
Dr. Sunanda Holmes, Associate University Counsel & Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research at WCM-Q, said: “Provision of high quality and appropriate mental healthcare services is a global challenge. By working together we can identify the service gaps and educate the various stakeholders in global best practices to ensure prompt, respectful and effective care for those in need. There are lessons to be learned from each other and candid dialogue about mental illness and challenges can go a long way in reducing stigma for patients and their families.”
Dr. Suhaila Ghuloum, Senior Consultant at the Psychiatry Department at HMC, played a key role in the organization of the seminar and was also one of the speakers at the event. Dr. Ghuloum underscored the importance of providing access to adequate and appropriate mental health services, and identified the challenges facing Qatar. These include the need for continued investment in infrastructure, recruitment and training of personnel, the need to overcome barriers to access, and the establishment of a comprehensive legal framework to protect the rights of both service providers and users.
Other speakers at the seminar were Dr. Aicha Hind Rifai, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, WCM-Q; Dr. Mohammed Abdelalaim, Senior Consultant General Adult Psychiatry, HMC; Mr. Iain Tulley, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Service, HMC; and Dr. Abdullah El Mamoun, Head of Quality Assurance, Ministry of Interior.
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