Repeat business from Qatar

It's always nice to get repeat business. This job was a follow-up to a project started over eleven years earlier!

Repeat business from Qatar

In late 2010 I worked with Lord Darzi’s team at Imperial College London to create a Rich Picture to support the project they were doing for Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health (see below). The plan was to bring Cancer care up to the standards of our own NHS. Like in the NHS healthcare is free at the point of delivery for Qatari citizens, funded from the deep pockets of the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani.

Qatar Cancer Care rich picture

Qatar Cancer Care Rich Picture 2010

Before oil transformed the economy of this small gulf state, Qatar was known for its pearl fishing and that gave us the meta-metaphor of the family as the pearl at the heart of the protective oyster shell of the SCH. This element formed the basis of the new picture but the family have aged and expanded. Qatar hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the government are keen to leverage the national pride in their ability to get big projects done. The healthy halo-effect of increased interest on sport and fitness is also shown in the new picture.

Qatar Cancer Plan Rich Picture

Qatar Cancer Plan 2023

The original picture was more about who was involved in the transformation project, the 2023 is more about what is going to be done. As you might expect technology is at the centre of much of the change. Real cutting-edge stuff like AI assisted cancer diagnostics, able to detect tumours earlier than trained human eyes. Developing technology like liquid biopsy able to detect a range of cancers from a simple blood sample. Proton Beam Therapy, dedicated paediatric tertiary care and HPV vaccination (to reduce cervical cancer) are just some of the eighty-seven deliverables in this ambitious plan.

Liquid biopsy

The city of Doha has obviously changed somewhat in the intervening decade. I had to add a few more glass skyscrapers to the iconic skyline. The new metro system can now whisk visiting cancer patients from the airport and international delegates to the conference centre. New exercise machines have been installed along the sea-front corniche. Plus the administration of the Qatar Health Services has had a rebranding; the SCH is now the Ministry for Public Health (MOPH) and the Qatar Foundation (a non-profit organisation that coordinates and funds many projects across education, research and health) have moved from their old palace into a modern new building with funky fenestration designed by OMA. Along with the new Sidra Medicine Hospital  by Cesar Pelli and the Zaha Hadid designed Al Wakrah Stadium there was plenty of modern architecture to represent.

Qatar Foundation building

In a decade where our own beloved NHS has been beset by problems and the targets and metrics have headed in the wrong direction the levels of Cancer care in Qatar are on the up. Better screening has seen cases increasing but the crucial metric of cancer-survivors is rising more quickly.


If you have a large and complicated project and you think a Rich Picture might be useful please drop me a line.