The Health Ministers' Council for GCC gives health research the highest priority. This was manifested by establishing the Gulf Committee for health research. The main function of this Gulf Committee is to promote health research and its effectiveness in the Gulf, and suggest specific strategies as well as provide advice to decision – makers in this regard.
- To develop the capacity to undertake research in the core areas of health.
- To develop the capacity to undertake in-depth research in a specified set of critical population and health issues in the region.
Functions of the Studies and Research Division in the Executive Office:
1. Proposing studies and researches related to raising the health standard and development of health services in the Council States.
2. Setting a plan for studies and research, taking part in its preparation and follow up of implementation after being approved by the Director General.
3. Studying the technical reports, health statistics about diseases, mortalities, health problems in the Council States. Necessary proposals and recommendations are made in this regard.
4. Cooperation with specialized scientific and technological agencies inside and outside the Gulf States to help in preparing studies and research proposals.
- The committee held a single meeting out of which came the Gulf Strategic plan for promotion of health research.
- The committee members are directors of research in the ministries of health in the Council States.
- Setting the Gulf strategic plan for promotion of health research.
- Conduction of a preliminary study to evaluation the current situation of health research in the Council States.
- Two publications were issued about priorities of health research in the Cooperation Council States and a glimpse on health research.
- A joint research was done with Eastern Mediterranean Region about Mapping the National Health Research System in 10 countries in the EMR. The research was published in the EMHJ.
- A lot of research studies were conducted in the field of NCDs and elderly health.
- Conduction of workshops about priorities of health research.
- The World Health Survey Project was implemented in 5 countries in the Council (KSA – Oman – Qatar – UAE – Kuwait)
1- Shortage of qualified Gulf competencies in the field of health research.
2- Lack of incentives provided to young researchers to be totally involved in health research process.
3- Shortage in funding research at the level of the Cooperation Council States.
4- Weak coordination among the many research bodies.
1- Work towards putting the Gulf strategies for research promotion in the Cooperation Council States into action.
2- Upgrading the training provided to the Gulf caders in the field of applied and qualitative research as well as skill improvement.
3- Strengthening conduction of health system research, health surveys and clinical research.