Symposium supports occupational health in Qatar
The symposium, coordinated by WCM-Q’s Institute for Population Health (IPH), was designed to provide a platform for discussion and knowledge sharing about occupational health strategies, while also raising awareness and advocating for effective occupational health policies in order to enhance the safety of employees and the public.
The event, entitled ‘Occupational Health is Everyone’s Business’, featured a variety of expert speakers on subjects such as occupational health in the airline and construction industries, the health of migrant workers, a general overview of occupational health issues, and risk mitigation.
Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, professor and senior associate dean for population health, capacity building and student affairs at WCM-Q, said: “Occupational health truly is everyone’s business. Whether you are a senior manager, an employee or a member of the public, your health must be proactively protected and the way to do this is through effective occupational health strategies. Furthermore, intelligently designed occupational health strategies actually boost productivity and overall economic activity.”
Speakers at the event included Dr. Mamtani, Dr. Taher Giaedi, chief operating officer, Qatar Red Crescent, Medical Affairs Division, on the challenges surrounding migrant health; and Thomas Doyle, WCM-Q’s director of environmental health, safety & security on ways to define, identify and mitigate health hazards and risks in the workplace.
Dr. Penny Stern, director of preventive medicine at Northwell Health, New York, gave a presentation on occupational health opportunities and challenges in the construction industry; and Dr. John Roberts, Qatar Airways’ group medical director, discussed occupational health in aviation. His presentation explored the physiological challenges facing employees in the aviation industry, discussed how some medical conditions can be adversely affected while traveling as an airline passenger, and explained what information can help airlines decide whether passengers are fit to fly.
Dr. Roberts said: “Occupational health is taken very seriously by Qatar Airways as the health and safety of our passengers and staff is our number one priority. We are convinced that a comprehensive, effective and caring occupational health strategy not only makes us a better and safer airline, but also more productive and more efficient as a corporation.”
The one-day symposium concluded with a panel discussion on the issues raised in the presentations, which was chaired by Dr. Sohaila Cheema, assistant professor of healthcare policy and research, and director of the Institute for Population Health at WCM-Q, and featured as panelists all of the speakers plus additional experts Dr. Ahmad Latif, lead medical officer at Qatar Petroleum, and Dr. Osama Ibrahim, chief medical officer and SHE coordinator at Qatargas.
The symposium was accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).