CIRS Director Dr Mehran Kamrava

In recent years, the countries of the Gulf have witnessed massive transformations in infrastructure, rapid economic growth, and significant population changes. But how has this impacted the healthcare provided in these nations?

A new publication by Georgetown University in Qatar’s premier research institute, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), aims to answer this question. Bringing together multidisciplinary experts from a range of countries, Critical Issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States is the first book to examine the challenges facing the healthcare sector in the Gulf region.

Research on the topic began in 2014, with CIRS reaching out to a number of experts on healthcare policy in the region and hosting a series of meetings in order to facilitate collaboration between them. As they began to study further, they realised that they were blazing a new trail, as there had been little or no previous research into these topics before.

The book was edited by Dr Ravinder Mamtani, professor of healthcare policy and research, professor of integrative medicine, and associate dean for global and public health at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and Dr Albert B Lowenfels, emeritus professor of surgery and professor of community and preventive medicine at New York Medical College.

It delves into how population changes and lifestyle shifts have dramatically altered the healthcare needs of these nations, along with the very professionals who work in the industry and the facilities they need to care for patients. From the historical context to the human resource needs, the book offers much-needed insight into the challenges facing healthcare systems in the region.

Critical Issues in Healthcare Policy and Politics in the Gulf Cooperation Council States is part of CIRS’s efforts to foster research on original topics related to the Gulf region, the Middle East, and beyond. Established in 2005, the research institute is devoted to the academic study of regional and international issues through dialogue and exchange of ideas, research and scholarship, and engagement with national and international scholars, opinion-makers, practitioners, and activists.