(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) will soon introduce a new examination system for private health care practitioners seeking a licence to work in Qatar.
The exams that had been conducted inside Qatar will be outsourced under the new system. The Medical Licensing Committee at SCH will soon sign an agreement with a leading international company, specialising in competency tests, to conduct the examinations, Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Director of the Department said yesterday.
The new exam system, to be introduced in the first quarter of 2010, is part of the changes being made in the medical licensing procedures in Qatar to make them compatible with international standards.
The Committee yesterday held a workshop for private health care practitioners in the country where different issues concerning the licensing system were discussed. Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the workshop, Al Khanji said the new examination system will be more logical and it will help speed up the licensing procedures.
The examinations are mandatory for all private physicians who don't hold a specialist degree (general practitioners) as well as other private health care practitioners seeking a licence to work in the country.
"The current examination system is flawed, especially that for physicians. Very few doctors were able to pass these tests. So we have stopped the examinations for physicians," said Al Khanji.
He said the new examination system, once introduced will apply to all these categories, including physicians (general practitioners).
The international agency that will conduct the examinations have centres in many countries including Qatar. The prospective applicants will be able to sit for the examinations in any of these recognised centres even before their arrival in Qatar. They can produce the certificate later when they apply for the licence.
"This will save time and money for the applicants as well as their employers," said Al Khanji
"Initially we will have examinations in six categories including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians. More categories will be included later depending on the requirements. The agency already has an examination centre in Qatar and another centre will be set up at the Supreme Council of Health premises," he added.
The Committee recently had made it mandatory for all applicants to produce a Certificate of Good Standing issued by the medical licensing authorities in the country where the candidate last worked.
Answering queries from the audience, Al Khanji said the Committee would look into the possibility of issuing medical licences with a validity of two or three years. Currently, all the licences are valid for one year and need to be renewed annually.
By Mohammed Iqbal