Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is preparing to receive 10 Palestinian physicians in Qatar, under the Amiri Medical Scholarship Programme for the academic year 2020-2021. Conducted in co-operation with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), the programme has lately closed online application.
The selected candidates from Gaza and the West Bank will come to Qatar to study a wide range of postgraduate medical specialisations for 4-5 years, in order to qualify for certification by the Arab Board of Health Specialisations (ABHS).
Executive Director of Relief and International Development at QRCS Dr Mohamed Salah Ibrahim said that supporting the health sector of Palestine is a top priority of QRCS's foreign humanitarian operations. "It is part of our enormous efforts to provide all forms of help for our Palestinian brothers and sisters," he added.
The purpose of the programme, he explained, was to ensure high-level, comprehensive health services that meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved groups in Palestine, to build the capacity of local physicians and nurses, upgrade healthcare services, improve the medical education environment, and reduce foreign referrals and waiting lists," he added.
"To that end, QRCS adopts several mechanisms of providing health facilities with resources, enhancing the skills of medical professionals to ensure better quality services, addressing inadequacies in medical services, and filling in the gaps in medical supplies at government and public hospitals," said Dr Ibrahim.
Since its launch in 2003, the Amiri Medical Scholarship Programme has benefited 71 physicians in total, including 36 from Gaza and 35 from the West Bank. So far, 12 and 14 physicians have returned to Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. The remaining physicians are still pursuing their residency training at HMC.
Among the many vital medical specialisations covered by the programme are neurosurgery, anaesthesia, cardiology, neonatology, paediatric cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, urology, emergency medicine, general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, radiology, plastic surgery, psychiatrics, and internal medicine (gastroenterology - oncology, hematology - rheumatology).
As per the conditions of scholarship, the graduates are required to return to work in Palestine's government hospitals, public health facilities, or universities for at least double the duration of scholarship period. This is intended to benefit as many patients as possible, as well as to pass the acquired expertise to the other physicians who could not attend the programme.
The programme has been an extraordinary success in modernising the health sector of Palestine. New major specialisations were introduced, such as cystoscopy. At the European Gaza Hospital, a new Department of Neurology was established, and existing services were developed, such as neonatal intensive care units, radiology, and orthopedic surgery. As a result of these achievements, the learning environment became much more advanced, and the mortality rates decreased significantly, particularly at the divisions of neonatology.