Qatar expands mental health services

Doha, The Gulf Observer: Three new health centers will now provide psychiatry clinics as part of an expansion plan for the “Integrated Mental Health Service” of the Primary Health Care Corporation, authorities announced.

Patients registered at any PHCC Health Center can receive community-based care from the clinics, and those with moderate to severe mental health issues can receive services jointly provided by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) as well as the clinics.

Integrated psychiatry clinics are currently offered at the Health Centers in Al Thumama, Qatar University, and Al Wajbah, according to the PHCC website.

Physicians at other PHCC health centers refer patients that are 18 years of age and older who have moderate to severe, but non-emergency, mental health difficulties.

Patients over the age of 18 who have concerns about moderate to severe anxiety, depression, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and other issues can receive services from PHCC psychiatry clinics.

Those who are in need of such services should see their family doctor, who will examine them and, if necessary, send them to the designated clinics to be treated accordingly.

The program was initially introduced as a pilot initiative at Thumama Health Centre and has subsequently been extended to two other health centers.

This service also helps achieve one of the goals of Qatar’s “National Health Strategy,” which calls for primary care to deliver 20% of the mental health services now offered at hospitals.