SAFE HAVEN

Qatar 2019 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

Naufar offers a comprehensive rehabilitation program that takes into account patients' physical, mental, social, and societal conditions.

Dr. Mohammed bin Ghanim Al Ali Al Maadheed
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Mohammed bin Ghanim Al Ali Al Maadheed is the healthcare advisor to Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the personal representative of the Amir. He is also the Director General of Naufar. He has over 30 years of professional experience both nationally and internationally with governments, NGOs, and the private sector.

What was the idea behind opening Naufar in Qatar?

It came from the higher authorities in Qatar that wanted a place where we could help people deal with addictions. There are many ways to approach addiction, and the public sector is one way. There is no culture of drinking in Qatar, so the percentage is low. However, Naufar deals with both alcohol and drugs, prescription or otherwise. The way we treat patients is different, as we try to heal them in a holistic way. It is not just about fixing a problem but rehabilitating a person so they can function happily. We needed to constantly communicate with patients and wanted a comprehensive program that took into account their physical, mental, social, and societal conditions. The family also plays a major role. We had to build a facility that could take all these factors into account, with protocols and care delivery to implement it, structure, and human resources. This is where Naufar stands in the Qatari healthcare system.

How do you implement technology in your services?

The first type of technology we use is a functional MRI. We look at the activities of the brain to see how it is affected and how severe the damage is. Brain activities change with recovery. We need to demonstrate to people how they can recover. For me, it has been dealing with sports medicine. You cannot convince people they need help unless they want it. We want to demonstrate what is happening to their brain with this technology. As time goes on, they can see how they are changing. Ultimately, this is different from other kinds of medication; it engages them at a human level. We need our patients to take charge of their lives. Technology is important, though the human component is 99%.

What is your assessment of the healthcare sector and the importance of your services?

There are always priorities in any sector. In the healthcare sector, for basic needs, most of us treat ourselves 80% of the time. The more knowledge we have to treat ourselves, the better we are. Then come basic healthcare services, such as primary healthcare, and then the more advanced services, like surgery. At the end of the spectrum comes a center like Naufar, dealing with addiction. Naufar is, to a great extent, proof of how advanced healthcare is in Qatar. In recent years, we have been working hard at innovation. If anyone can produce a perfect system for healthcare management, it is a country like Qatar. We are a small country with abundant resources, we have centralized decision-making, and we can provide big data. In the end, we will get there using the right technology and applying what we can learn from big data. Compared to the region, we have several advantages.

Where do you see room for more private hospital involvement?

We have many hospitals. We have three industrial hospitals about to open. Our population is perhaps 35% blue collar workers from abroad, and we provide services to them as well. We have done research and have found that 40% of people in Qatar are overweight. However, no one is underweight. The incidence of disease globally corresponds to access to healthcare; here, there are no issues with access.

What are your goals and expectations for 2019?

We want to continue refining our operations because we only opened in 2017. For any organization, its first task is to operate. Then, we have two years to refine everything—our operation, our culture, and the things we need to do. If we get our culture correct, the organization will be healthy. An unhealthy environment or culture however will not see us through.