28 September 2022

Healthcare Sector Ready to Activate Comprehensive Major Incident Response Plans If Needed at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022


Doha, September 28 (QNA) - The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and healthcare partners including Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC) and other key organizations in Qatar are ready to activate and deploy comprehensive major incident response plans, if needed, at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

As part of the Sport for Health partnership between MoPH and the World Health Organization (WHO), disaster management experts from WHO have been working alongside Qatar experts to support the development of the response plans.

Director of Health Emergency Department at the MoPH Dr. Mohammed Al Hajri explained that Qatar has hosted multiple high-profile sporting events in recent years and the healthcare system has played an important role in supporting the successful running of these tournaments.

"These events, including the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 and the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, have enabled the healthcare sector to gain valuable experience and test its major incident response plans ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," added Al Hajiri.

"The healthcare sector's major incident response plans were stringently tested in a recent mass casualty simulation exercise.

The exercise, the latest in a series of workshops and simulation drills organized by MoPH and WHO, tested the emergency response operations of the healthcare system ahead of the tournament, enabling our teams to evaluate their effectiveness, and to modify plans and protocols as needed," said Al Hajri.

For her part, WHO Representative to Qatar Dr. Rayana Bou Haka said: "Simulating responses to health and medical emergencies is an essential component of a well-functioning and prepared emergency response system."

"WHO is committed to continuing to work closely with the Ministry of Public Health and other stakeholders in Qatar to ensure services and systems are in place to respond effectively and readily to potential health emergencies before, during and after this year's FIFA World Cup. Close coordination with all teams and stakeholders is essential for testing procedures, effective communications and responding to unforeseen challenges," added Bou Haka.

Assistant Executive Director for Events and Emergency Planning at HMC's Ambulance Service Saleh Al Meqareh, explained the role of the Ambulance Service's specially designed major incident response vehicles. "Throughout the FIFA World Cup, a Mobile Command Unit and dedicated major incident response capability will be at each of the stadiums on match days which will be backed up by routine Ambulance Service support.

The Command Units act as a hub for communications and relay real-time information to coordinate response plans. They function as mobile command centers through which our response plans can be activated." In addition to the Command Units, we will also have a Major Incident Response Vehicle at each stadium on match days. The response vehicle contains all the resources required to create a temporary field treatment area with a variety of air-conditioned tents in which patients can be treated according to their clinical acuity," explained Al Al Meqareh.

The National Healthcare Incident Command Center (NHICC) at HMC's Ambulance Service headquarters was established in 2020 and, in the event of a major incident, is ready to lead the coordination of the Qatar healthcare system's response at any time, including during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The NHICC coordinates operations of key healthcare providers in Qatar, including HMC, PHCC and Sidra Medicine, in addition to acting as the healthcare system focal point for MoPH and other government agencies.

Staffed and operational 24/7, the NHICC has supported healthcare efforts at recent major sporting events including the Formula One Grand Prix and FIFA Arab Cup, both held in Qatar in 2021.



General, Qatar
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