Qatar cuts health project spending


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Qatar has cut its planned spending on health projects following the drop in oil prices but expenditure on World Cup-related projects should be unchanged, Reuters reported lead adviser for contracts and project management at Public Works Authority (Ashghal) Ahmad al-Ansari as saying today.

“Due to the recent oil and gas price drop, the government has to restructure, re-plan its priorities,” Reuters quoted him as saying “We (Ashghal) haven’t cancelled any of our programmes. All we’ve done is extended them. We’ve slowed down a little bit on the number of projects released this year.”

It aims to build 60-70 new primary healthcare centres over the next decade. This year, it was meant to award contracts to build seven of these but that number has been cut to three, said al-Ansari.

“We’re hoping within the next year to stick to our original plan, which is to award (contracts to build) at least eight health centres every year,” al-Ansari told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

Ashghal will spend QR 2.5bn building healthcare facilities this year, instead of QR 7bn as previously planned, he said.

The authority has cut its 2016 budget for public buildings by 50-60 per cent compared with what it had originally expected to spend, said al-Ansari.

Ashghal’s total 2016 budget is QR15bn to 17bn, down from the previously-estimated QR25bn.

Ashghal’s priorities include road building been little changed

“I think anything related to the World Cup will stay unchanged. The plans for the projects we’re doing to serve the World Cup won’t be affected,” added al-Ansari.