Under the patronage of His Excellency Abdullah bin Khalid Al Qahtani, Minister of Public Health, HE Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Khulaifi, Assistant Secretary General for Administrative Affairs at the Ministry of Public Health, along with other high-ranking health officials from the public healthcare sector, have formally inaugurated Al Wakra Breast & Bowel Cancer Screening Center.
Among those present at the opening ceremony were officials from the Ministry of Public Health, the National Cancer Program (NCP), the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC).
The opening of the Al Wakra facility signals the formal start of the Breast & Bowel Cancer Screening Program, a population-based cancer screening program also known as ‘Screen for Life.’ The Al Wakra facility will be further complemented by two more centers located in Leabaib and Rawdat Al Khail, as well as a Mobile Unit van. This will further enable PHCC to effectively and efficiently deliver cancer screening procedures to everyone across the country.
“The opening of the Al Wakra Breast & Bowel Cancer Screening Center marks a significant milestone in the country’s efforts towards ensuring the health and well-being of its citizens and residents,” said Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, M.D., Managing Director of PHCC. “As a key component of the ‘Screen for Life’ program, it is manned by highly skilled healthcare professionals who have all been trained to efficiently operate the facility’s state-of-the-art equipment.
“We therefore look forward to welcoming people into this facility and delivering a best in class cancer screening service to everyone,” she added. “We also wish to extend sincere thanks to His Excellency the Minister of Health for his support and guidance that have made the opening of this facility a reality.”
Upon entry of the patient, reception personnel will immediately make visitors feel welcome. There will also be nurses who are capable of providing vital information and responses to all questions from patients about the examination process. Technicians who are not only experts in operating cutting-edge equipment but also in handling patients with care will also be on hand, as well as radiologists who are capable of undertaking the most accurate reading of images.
Nurses will conclude the visit to PHCC or refer patients to HMC depending on the outcome of the exam. The relaxing and spa-like environment makes cancer screening comfortable rather than a burden.
The core objective of ‘Screen for Life’ is to save precious lives by encouraging women aged 45 years or older with no symptoms to receive breast cancer screening through mammography. The campaign also calls on both men and women aged 50 years or older with no symptoms to receive bowel cancer screening through FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test). The Ministry of Public Health recommends breast cancer screening every three years and bowel cancer screening every year. Both Mammogram and FIT are generally considered safe, quick and relatively painless.
PHCC, a provider of a wide range of primary healthcare services across the State of Qatar, has been given the authority to lead the program under Qatar’s National Cancer Program (NCP), which was initiated by the Ministry of Public Health (SCH) upon review of international best practices on excellent cancer care. The program is also consistent with the National Cancer Strategy’s key recommendation 5.2, which states the need for a population-based cancer screening program in the country.
The Al Wakra Cancer Screening Center was preceded by the launch of the program’s 800 1112 Call Center, where highly trained and qualified English- and Arabic-speaking staff and medical professionals will be on hand to receive cancer screening booking requests, respond to enquiries from the public on cancer screening and proactively reach out to individuals.