Strategic Enablers

4
Enablers
14
Goals
42
Initiatives

The public health system must evolve and be strengthened to:

  • Support the health of the rapidly growing population

  • Strengthen the effective management of emerging and  re-emerging public health threats

  • Effectively manage the developing population disease profiles, including preventing and reducing the impact of  non-communicable diseases

  • Manage increasing resource demands on environment and food safety services

Figure 21: Four Strategic Enablers for the Public Health System

Figure 21: Four Strategic Enablers for the Public Health System

3 Goals

11 Objectives

Community engagement and empowerment is essential to enable local partnerships to improve the health of the population. Community engagement significantly improves the sustainability of public health programs and initiatives because of a strong sense of ownership of the intervention and its success. It promotes the efficient utilization of existing resources and enables programs to be tailored to appropriately meet community needs.

A range of stakeholders are integral to effective engagement processes including community leaders, MOPH, PHCC, hospitals, municipalities, religious communities, schools, universities, NGOs, sports authorities, private companies, civil society, media and others.

Three goals and 11 initiatives have been identified to enable greater community engagement and empowerment.

Greater understanding of the health needs of all communities in Qatar

To improve the health of the population, comprehensive community assessments are required to determine the demographic and health risks profile, as well as the public health resources and assets available in associated communities. In addition to gathering information on the population as a whole, it is necessary to engage with community leaders and stakeholders across various sectors to identify specific local needs and to design efficient health interventions. This information allows community resources to be utilized to develop relevant and sustainable solutions to local public health needs.

1.1.1

public-health-iconCommunity advisory
taskforce
Identified community leaders and public health officials mobilized to form a taskforce that convenes quarterly to plan local public health programs aligned with the community health and behavioral risk profile community leaders and public health officials mobilized to form a taskforce that convenes quarterly to plan local public health programs aligned with the community health and behavioral risk profile

1.1.2

annual-iconPublic health community
partners and asset register

Community partners and assets identified across government agencies, private sector, NGOs, etc. to align and integrate public health activities and optimize the utilization of resources

Increase community involvement in the implementation and sustainability of public health programs and initiatives

The next generation of public health interventions must focus on engaging communities in planning, design and evaluation processes. Effective community engagement allows members and stakeholders to assist in the design and promotion of public health solutions that are relevant, sustainable and tailored to the local context. This includes utilizing effective communication strategies and the recognition of significant community contributions to public health.

1.2.1

public-health-iconCommunity public health
communication strategy

Community partnerships strengthened to support the appropriate engagement, inclusiveness and cultural context for all populations

1.2.2

annual-iconCommunity public health program
evaluation framework

Standardized assessment criteria developed and utilized to comprehensively assess performance of community public health programs and to enable continuous improvement

1.2.3

published-iconPublic health community engagement
and satisfaction survey

Formal feedback mechanisms established to determine the effectiveness and performance of local public health initiatives and opportunities for improvement

1.2.4

published-iconCollaborative community
public health forums

Forums established to facilitate broader community level discussion of key public health challenges and priorities

1.2.5

published-iconPublic health
awards

Recognition of the effort of community members in contributing to public health initiatives‭, ‬and to encourage others to participate and build local-level engagement

Focus on public health literacy to empower community members to have greater influence over their health outcomes

Public health literacy is essential to empower individuals to make the best health and behavioural choices for themselves and their families. To improve health literacy levels, messaging strategies must be developed that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for all target groups, including high risk populations.

1.3.1

public-health-iconNational public health
literacy framework

Individuals enabled to make informed decisions about their own health and to influence the health and wellbeing of the community across the broader determinants of health

1.3.2

annual-iconCommunity professional public
health training programs

Skilled and sustainable local community public health workforce further developed that can support key messages and programs about preventative health and behavioral risk modification

1.3.3

published-iconHigh risk population community
education programs

Targeted health literacy programs established to reduce inequalities in existing public health programs and provide maximal opportunities for high risk populations to improve their health and wellbeing

1.3.4

published-icon

School based public health
programs

Good health behaviors ingrained within children and the youth to minimize the potential burden of disease later in life and reduce behavioral risk factors

4 Goals

9 Objectives

High quality data, ongoing surveillance and epidemiological studies are vital to:

  • Monitor the health of a population
  • Develop effective public health policy
  • Assess the effectiveness of implemented programs
  • Identify public health priorities
  • Ensure the appropriate utilization of resources

Significant opportunities exist to align, strengthen and better utilize population health data. This will require investment in data collection and management infrastructure, as well as analytical and surveillance capabilities. It is essential that a public health observatory function is established as a priority to support the collection, integration and sharing of data.

The Data Management Strategy (NHS Project 2.3) and National e-Health (NHS Project 2.4) have been developed to set a clear direction and plan to improve information management. The public health strategy will align goals and initiatives with key elements of these projects and a vision for:

‘a world-class‭, ‬sustainable‭, ‬integrated and secure national e-Health ecosystem for the State of Qatar’

Four goals and nine initiatives have been identified to strengthen data driven intelligence capability.

Ensure high quality, comprehensive and accessible population health data

A systematic approach to the collection and management of public health data will provide significant improvements in the understanding of the health and wellbeing of communities. This includes agreement on public health data requirements, articulation of roles and responsibilities, consistent processes for data collection, robust methods for data management and analysis, development of standardized case definitions and protocols for data security.

2.1.1

public-health-iconPublic health data definitions,
health indicators, collection protocols
and data sharing agreements

Leading practice data management systems and processes established that standardize data collection, reporting and access

Increased reporting and access to population health data

A focal point of accountability for data collection, management, analysis and reporting is required to accurately assess the health of the population. This requires collaboration and coordination between health and non-health partners to develop and maintain a centralized data repository that can be used for epidemiological surveillance to reflect the health of a population in real time. Entities must have the autonomy to collect data independently, but a system needs to be in place to collate all gathered data.

A targeted suite of national public health surveys needs to be developed to provide key insights in order to understand the challenges and needs of all populations, including high risk groups.

2.2.1

public-health-icon

Public health observatory
function

Health information coordinated by a single entity to ensure collation, management and validation of data using high quality methods

2.2.2

annual-icon

Annual national public
health surveys

Surveys established to enable comprehensive health profiling of the population, high risk groups, monitor trends and determine the impact of behavioral risks, illness and disability

2.2.3

published-icon

Published bi-annual public
health report

Provide a transparent and regular report on the health of the population and identified strategic directions and public health priorities a transparent and regular report on the health of the population and identified strategic directions and public health priorities

Enhance the monitoring and responsiveness of Qatar’s public health system

A comprehensive understanding of the population is required to develop targeted public health policy. Effective and integrated monitoring, surveillance and laboratory functions are essential to protect and improve the health of a population.

Qatar has a unique population demographic with a transient expatriate population posing continual challenges for the existing health infrastructure. This includes the risk of disease importation which might be new or reintroduced to the region. As Qatar continues to host major events, an integrated early warning system is crucial.

2.3.1

public-health-iconNational integrated
surveillance system

Centralized electronic system that enables identification of major health hazards, outbreaks, emerging and re-emerging threats and to monitor public health challenges

2.3.2

annual-iconPublic health
intelligence unit

Responsible for determining Qatar’s health profile and to link with regional and global units to incorporate key insights

2.3.3

published-icon

Integration of and access to
public health laboratory information

Ensure the management of communicable disease monitoring and early detection of public health threats

Enhance public health research and capability

Strengthening the public health research capability is required to promote a focus on a high quality research portfolio that enables effective policy planning, decision making and evaluation processes. Emphasis should be placed on practical research that is consistent with world class standards. This includes an emphasis on the social determinants of health and determination of the impact of policy interventions on the social gradient of health.

Key linkages and opportunities for collaborative research need to be established with the Qatar National Research Fund, universities, health providers, and other public health stakeholders.

 

2.4.1

published-icon

Publish research
findings

Increased research capability for culturally sensitive research that looks at the national context profile in Qatar to drive evidence-based policy, program development and evaluation utilizing leading practice research methods

2.4.2

published-icon

Research workforce capability
and assessment framework

Strengthened partnerships with academic institutions to provide formal opportunities for shared research, continuing education, address gaps in research and data collection to broaden the research capability across the system

3 Goals

9 Objectives

Leading practice emphasizes a set of essential public health functions that embed a continuous cycle of health needs assessment‭,‬‭ ‬policy development‭, ‬implementation and evaluation underpinned‭. ‬Focusing on the development‭, ‬alignment‭, ‬and capability of the public health workforce and system to deliver against these functions is required to address current and future health challenges‭ ‬faced by the population‭. ‬This approach will also deliver more effective and efficient services and interventions for communities‭ ‬by ensuring that the right level and mix of skills exist in required locations in the system and match the distinctive needs of‭ ‬each community‭.‬

Achieving a competent and well-trained public health workforce requires the articulation of roles and responsibilities‭, ‬effective performance management standards‭, ‬and the development of standardised workforce practices‭. ‬This includes stipulating agreed minimum professional standards across the system‭.‬

Three goals and nine initiatives have been identified to strengthen the workforce and system capability‭.‬

Create networks and forums for public health expertise to come together to solve key public health challenges

Enhancing a culture of collaboration will create a public health network that brings experts – local, regional and international – to work together to address the health challenges of the population. Strategic collaboration is fundamental to a successful public health system and requires sharing responsibilities across sectors, ministries and entities.

3.1.1

public-health-icon

Strategic alliance
partners

Local, regional and global networks strengthened and established to enable the sharing of key insights and cooperation on cross-sectional initiatives

3.1.2

annual-icon

Public health knowledge
sharing platform

Enable cross-sectoral problem solving, innovation and opportunities for joint partnerships

3.1.3

annual-icon

Host annual public health
conference and symposiums

National, regional and global practitioners and researchers convened to drive leading public health practice

Develop the capability and capacity of all public health staff and the future leaders of Qatar’s public health system

It is essential that public health is promoted as an attractive, viable, and rewarding career that provides opportunities to significantly improve the wellbeing of the population and enable personal and professional development. Public health must be seen as a multi-faceted career that allows the ability to work across the essential public health functions and organizations, to deliver cross-sectoral policy and programs that impact the broader determinants of health.

Public health needs to attract and retain senior public health expertise to work in the country and provide technical assistance to the local leadership. This senior workforce is required to build the in-country capacity to fulfil the essential public health functions. Partners need to be cognizant of the strengths and weaknesses across the system so that senior public health figures can be actively involved in identifying and addressing gaps

3.2.1

public-health-icon

Public health workforce
taskforce

Targeted approach to improve the depth and capability of public health skills and expertise across the system

3.2.2

annual-icon

Public health employee
surveys

Employee engagement, training needs and workforce demographics comprehensively assessed to support development processes

3.2.3

published-icon

Mentorship programs and structured
internships for public health graduates

Local talent provided with opportunities to work across public health domains and supported to have an articulated career transition

Emergency/hazard preparedness communication protocols, training and drills

A robust public health system has the ability to respond to disease outbreaks, natural disaster and other emergencies to prevent and minimize threats to the population’s health. This requires having up-to-date protocols and procedures to guide an immediate response in case of an emergency or outbreak and a designated public health workforce that is familiar with the procedures and is well trained to identify and contain/control potential risks.

The Emergency Preparedness and Response department at the MOPH works closely with key stakeholders and is taking the lead in coordinating the health sector emergency preparedness and response activities. The main initiatives currently include the development of a National Health Emergency Management Plan and establishment of a National Poison Centre.

3.3.1

public-health-icon

Revision of outbreak, hazard and
emergency response communication protocols

Support the alignment, consistency and familiarity of all protocols across key stakeholders to coordinate and deliver a timely and effective response

3.3.2

annual-icon

Outbreak/emergency
preparedness training and drills

Enable comprehensive assessment of performance, identify further training requirements, improve system responsiveness and embed ‘ways of working’

3.3.3

published-icon

Major events public
health taskforce

Strengthen cross-sectoral planning and response processes to support greater system capability, resilience and scalability for large scale events

4 Goals

13 Objectives

Strengthening governance‭, ‬regulation‭, ‬performance management and the profile of public health is required to enable the delivery‭ ‬of the essential public health functions‭. ‬Clearly defining the roles of the leadership function across the system will support‭ ‬effective communication‭, ‬encourage collaboration and resource sharing‭, ‬and achieve implementation of the strategy‭.‬

Establishing a trusted voice for the public health system is required so that the population has confidence in the policies and‭ ‬processes utilised to protect and improve their health and well-being‭.‬

Articulate and enact strengthened governance

Developing a comprehensive governance and legislative framework across the public health system is required to define stakeholder responsibilities, establish a hierarchy of designated leadership and decision makers and to support clear reporting and escalation processes. Governance is critical to overcome intra and inter sectoral barriers, ensure the ownership of responsibilities and to enable the implementation of ‘Health in All Policies.’

4.1.1

public-health-icon

Establish the State of
Qatar Public Health Act

Provide the legal mandate to fulfil regulatory and enforcement responsibilities

4.1.2

annual-icon

Review of public
health laws/regulations

Health of the population protected through adequate laws that adhere to International Health Regulations

4.1.3

published-icon

Phased public health budget
increase between 2017-2022

Considered investment to enable capability growth across the system and the appropriate sustainable resourcing of initiatives

4.1.4

public-health-icon

Inter-Ministry board
for public health

Collaboration, policy development and collective action established for cross-sectoral public health issues – incorporating ‘Health in All Policies’

4.1.5

annual-icon

Public health
committee

Provide a formal policy advisory role to the Inter-Ministry Board and strengthen cross-sectoral collaboration across partners

4.1.6

published-iconImplement preventive
health guidelines

Robust development and vetting processes for all proposed public health initiatives

Introduce a performance management and quality framework a performance management and quality framework

A performance management and quality framework needs to be established to monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and initiatives. This framework will drive systemic improvement and ensure the optimal utilization of resources. As public health is a shared responsibility, the framework must adequately assess performance across the system. Aspiring to achieve accreditation of the public health department will raise standards and demonstrate the commitment to quality, governance, and continual improvement.

4.2.1

public-health-icon

Performance management
framework

Accountability and transparency promoted across the system for all implemented policies, programs and initiatives

4.2.2

annual-icon

Quality improvement
framework

Continuous improvement embedded in public health activities

4.2.3

published-icon

Accreditation of the public
health department

Adherence to external standards to increase the quality of public health practice and demonstrate the nation’s commitment to public health to external standards to increase the quality of public health practice and demonstrate the nation’s commitment to public health

Develop national public health brand

Enhancing the effectiveness, perceived value, trust and visibility of public health information can be achieved through building a strong unified brand. Qatar’s public health system has the potential to be a leader in the region. A clear visible brand will not only foster the relationship of public health with the people of Qatar, but also across the GCC.

4.3.1

public-health-icon

Develop a national
public health identity

Promotion of trust in the system through a commitment to quality, excellence and consistent evidence-based policy

4.3.2

annual-icon

Public health
communication unit

Coordinated and structured public health messages, including the integration of media responses to outbreaks and threats

Promote national public health leadership

Public health challenges are influenced by the broader determinants of health. A comprehensive and structured cross sectoral approach is required to develop effective policy, planning and development processes. Alignment of objectives, capabilities, resources and expertise across the public health system is critical.

Identified leaders in public health need to be supported through training and development processes so that they can continue to improve performance and capability across the system. Leaders need to be able to effectively encourage all public health professionals and stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to improving the health and wellbeing of the population.

4.4.1

annual-icon

Public health
leadership program

Identified leaders supported and developed to drive quality, excellence and performance across all public health functions

4.1.2

annual-icon

Health in all policies
navigation manual

A ‘Health in All Policies’ approach embedded within policy development to support greater impact on the health of the population

Strategy Implementation 

It is important to state that the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 feeds into the overarching National Health Strategy 2017-2022, which aligns itself to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim initiative – Better Health, Better Care and Better Value.

This strategy will only succeed if there is sufficient engagement, planning, accountability and resources to ensure effective implementation.

In order to successfully deliver the strategy its key priorities, initiatives and objectives will be monitored regularly and measured against key performance indicators and milestones.

A Two-Year Action Plan will also be developed, that will outline specific projects or objectives from the Health Areas and/or Strategic Enablers that will be focused on as a priority in the upcoming two years.

In 2019, a midpoint implementation review will be undertaken to assess the progress of implementation and review future plans and deliverables.

There are eight strategy enablers that are fundamental to the strength of the Public Health Strategy implementation. They are:

Governace
Risk management
Leadership
Perfomance management
Change management
Project management
Communication and stakeholder engagement
Resourcing

Governance‭ ‬

A refreshed Public Health Committee, chaired by the Minister of Public Health has been established. The Committee will oversee the implementation of the Strategy as well as other key health strategies including those for cancer, diabetes and mental health all of which have significant preventive aspects.

In addition to this a Public Health Strategy Implementation Group will be created to oversee and report on the detailed implementation of the Strategy to the Public Health Committee. The Group will maintain alignment with other national health projects to manage interdependencies and opportunities for efficiencies in implementation. It will also support the timely resolution of issues and challenges to maintain project momentum.

Leadership

Leadership across the public health system will provide an ongoing unified commitment to guide and support the implementation of the Strategy. This will, in part, be achieved through the governance described above but also through implementation of the Strategy itself including the strategic enablers on:

  • Community engagement and empowerment‭‬
  • Workforce and system capability‭‬
  • Leadership‭, ‬regulation and accountability‭

Change management

The extent of change associated with the implementation of the Strategy will require change strategies and planning. Managing change and its challenges will be required throughout the implementation of the strategy.

Reaffirmation of the public health vision and the recognition and celebration of key milestones is essential to maintain momentum and commitment to achieving all objectives and initiatives.

System readiness to implement the objectives and initiatives will be determined to manage and mitigate potential risk to the implementation of proposed objectives and initiatives.

Communication and stakeholder management

Throughout implementation the level of stakeholder engagement and shared commitment must continue to build on the excellent start made in the strategy development process. Stakeholder engagement and support is essential if objectives and initiatives are to be sustained.

Regular collaborative forums will be established to promote innovation and collaboration across the public health system and to maintain momentum so that knowledge sharing and collaborative development becomes universal. Communicating achievements and change will support engagement further.

Risk management

A risk reporting framework will be implemented through the governance structure described above. It will be regularly reviewed and updated by system partners.

Any risk that relates to a potential decline in performance during implementation must be managed as soon as it is identified. Effective change management and stakeholder engagement strategies and well planned resourcing arrangements will help minimize this risk.

Performance management

Expectations of key personnel involved in implementation processes will be articulated and communicated. Emphasis on efficiency and productivity will help to maintain the pace and rigor of implementation.

Key performance data will be identified and a reporting framework developed across all public health system partners. This will enable the generation of regular reports by the Public Health Strategy Implementation Group to the Minister for Health and NHS Steering Committee on implementation progress.

Program and project management

Progress is already underway, supported by the NHS Program Management Office, to develop a strategy implementation plan and governance. The PMO will support the integration of implementation activities across the system and coordinate with other NHS and strategic health programs.

Resourcing

The new health sector program based budgeting system will enable implementation funding to be ring fenced to ensure that it is channeled to support implementation. Strategic initiative 4.1.3 identifies a phased approach to increasing public health funding to support the delivery of improved public health services as capacity and capability develop.

Action Plan

The Action Plan is designed to create focus and measurable progress by the end of 2018 and initiate future focus areas in two-year increments. The proposed Health Areas and Strategic Enablers that will be focused on initially include:
  • Road Safety
  • Communicable Disease
  • Environmental Health (specifically air quality)
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes (specifically health promotion)
  • Data Driven Intelligence

The proposed Health Areas and Strategic Enablers will be reviewed against what the public consider priority areas that are to be captured through the public consultation process. In addition, the dedicated Task forces will have responsibility for identifying projects and initiatives to be undertaken, aligning to the National Health Strategy where practicable. These projects and initiatives will then be submitted to the Public Health Implementation Group and Public Health Committee for approval.