Launching the National (CME/CPD) program

Date: March/08/2016

In a celebration held on Monday, 07, March in Sheraton Hotel in Doha in the presence of Dr. Hanan Mohammed al-Kuwari, minister of Public Health and a group of the health sector chief officers, Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) of the Ministry of Public Health launched the National Medical Education/Continuing Professional Development (CME/CPD) program.

Launching the program comes as a response to the development of the health needs and the fast growing progress of the professional educational standards around the world. A general framework has been set to guide all the service providers of continuing professional development and healthcare practitioners in an attempt to constantly improve the health sector workforce knowledge, skills and potentials.

Dr. Hanan Mohammed al-Kuwari, minister of Public Health, said "undoubtedly, all doctors, nursing staffs and health care practitioners have professional commitment to provide the highest quality of care for patients and everyone living in the State of Qatar. The program we are here to celebrate is a comprehensive one that covers all the health care practitioners in the State. It was basically designed to ensure the effectiveness and competency of their scientific and academic qualifications. It reflects the Government commitment to implant the culture of life-long education promotion. Thus, it will help to preserve the highest professional health care standards."

"Patients seeking health care in Qatar need to know that they are provided with the highest and best kind of treatment. Thus, this program aims to guarantee equipping all health care practitioners with the most appropriate and state-of-art scientific and academic qualifications within the framework of the government's obligations to support continuous learning and assist to raise the standards and quality of the health care provided in Qatar.", She added.

In his opening speech, Dr. Saleh bin Ali al-Marri stated that Qatar looks forward to developing a comprehensive health care system that keeps abreast of the best world standards and provides high quality preventive and curative health services so as to improve the health of Qatari people and to fulfill the health needs of the current generation and the generations to come.

He said: Qatar national vision 2030 defines health care as one of the most fundamental pillars of the human development. On the individual's level, health care is one of the most essential life components and has as significant reflection on all aspects of the quality of life. While on the community level, it has a deep effect on the community's productivity and economic competitiveness rendering health care a critical element in Qatar's future success and welfare.
He added that QCHP was formed by Emiri decree No. 7 of 2013 as a health care organizor in Qatar with the objective of improving the quality of health care. QCHP is an independent entity responsible for developing organizational regulations and standards for professional practices in (government and private) health sector in Qatar. Furthermore, QCHP was established to ensure the existence of a profound organizational authority for health care practitioners, the duties of which are not only to effectively organize their affairs, guaranteeing their efficiency and taking action in cases of their non-compliance with the expected standard practices, but also extend to continuing professional development through creating a national accreditation system for the continuous medical education and professional development.

He said: Since Qatar depends on the growth of the health workforce coming from various countries, there is a constant challenge lies in ensuring qualifying and supporting workforce proprely to provide high quality health care services systematically. Therefore, the QCHP reinforces the commitment of the ministry of Public Health toward creating a world competitive, highly skilled and professional health care workforce that result in improving the quality of patient care.

He added that in line with the QCHP's vision, mission and values, the ministry's CME/CPD program was finalized to support the world's best health care practices and improve patients' care in the state. This program constitutes a crucial stage of the development of the health care system and is a portal for achieving the objectives of the National Health Strategy, which designated its seventh output of the Strategy targeted-project (5.2) to laying down and performing a sustainable internationally-acknowledged system of continuing medical education and professional development.

Dr. Saleh bin Ali al-Marri asserted that the highest objective of implementing the CME/CPD program is to provide high quality health services for all citizens and residents through refining the health practitioners' experiences and skills with the latest health developments. and this would be reflected on the development of the government as well as private sector health care services on the long run.

QCHP acting chief executive officer, Dr. Samar Aboulsoud reviewed the process of outlining the program, stating that this process was performed through the broad cooperation with the public and private health care corporations, leading academic entities in Qatar, experts from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and world prominent health care efficient figures. She indicated that this cooperation resulted in the creation of a framework that supports the best world practices in health care.

Dr. Samar Aboulsoud clarified that the CME/CPD program supportsthe basic objective of the National Health Strategy that's represented in improving quality. She confirmed that the program offers real tangible benefits of providing health care services and is welcomed by the health sector workers. She added: "The program is a significant gain for all its relevant parties in Qatar health care system. It ensures providing health practitioners with the knowledge and competency to raise their professional level so as to provide high quality health care. In the light of the world acknowledgment of the constituents of the medical education in Qatar, health care practitioners can go on with improving their knowledge and skills to directly enrich the work environment, boost the learning chances and increase job opportunities in health care field."

Dr. Abdullatif Al-Khal, deputy chief of Medical Education at Hamad Medical Corporation said, "the CME/CPD program provides more support for the health care system in Qatar through offering high quality advantageous patient care. This is the most important basic element of the program.

The celebration was concluded with a panel discussion entitled: "Better knowledge, better health care" in which Dr. Ibrahim A. Janahi, the chairman of the National Permanent Licensing Committee (PLC); Dr. Abdullatif Al-Khal, deputy chief of medical education at Hamad Medical Corporation; Dr. Nabila Al Meer, deputy chief of the Continuing Care Group and Supreme Council of Health Nursing Affairs at Hamad Medical Corporation; Dr. Abdulla Mohammed Al Kaabi, acting chief medical officer of Sidra Medical and Research Center and Dr. Zulaikha al-Wahedi, executive director of the department of operations and workforce development in the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) participated.

The panel discussion tackled the advantages and challenges confronting the implementation of CME/CPD program; such as improving the patient's experience and saving the workers time to enable them to take part in the program and follow up the results in addition to the advantages of CME as an essential approach for the 21st century professional development.

It is worth noting that the new program aims at keeping up with the accelerated development in the world health sciences through the encouragement of health care practitioners to complete the CME/CPD requirements as a pre-requisite for renewing the profession license practice in Qatar. This would be reflected positively on the quality of health care provided to the patients around the world.

CME/CPD program guarantees the continuity of improving boosting the level of the health practitioners' knowledge, competency and performance to be able to provide the patients with the health care required. Therefore, this program is unique in its nature as it combines all the health care practitioners under one organizational umbrella and defines consolidated requirements for all health care practitioners to renew their licenses and maintain their validity.

The CME/CPD program, which includes the accreditation of the CME/CPD systems and providers, also ensures the quality of the continuing professional development programs organized to meet the administrative, educational and ethical standards applied in Qatar.
CME/CPD accreditation system is prepared in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and with the participation of the pioneers of medical education and health care, including the health and academic corporations in the public and private sectors in Qatar.

The program is supported by an integrated electronic system, which enables health practitioners to document their participations in the CME/CPD activities in their CPD files that contain the certificates and documents that prove their attendance. Moreover, the electronic system allows the providers of CME/CPD activities, including health care corporations and academic entities to download the accreditation applications in accordance with QCHP's regulations and standards.

It is noteworthy that an integrated advertising and informative campaign has been launched in 2015 and keeps going in 2016 aiming at fostering the awareness of the health care practitioners and the public of the program.