New exam system for pharmacists

January 06, 2014 - 3:01:00 am

DOHA: A new examination system is being introduced in Qatar for pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners in a clinical setting to assess how they would perform in a real-life situation.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OBSE) would be made mandatory for all licensed pharmacists in Qatar, the SCH said yesterday.

This is part of a plan to upgrade the skills of pharmacists, who will play a bigger role with implementation of the national health insurance scheme.

“Currently the role of pharmacists is limited to dispensing medicines. In future, they will be getting a bigger role including the right to prescribe some medicines in certain situations. The new examination system is to assess if they are equipped with the required skills,” Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, acting CEO of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) told this daily yesterday.

QCHP is the body responsible for licensing healthcare practitioners. The official said that OBSE would be made compulsory for pharmacists as an additional requirement to the written (theory) examinations.

“We are in the process of developing the models for implementing the examination in Qatar. The pilot phase will involve pharmacists but later it will be extended to other relevant segments as well,” added Al Khanji.

OBSE tests the skills and performance of pharmacists in a real or simulated clinical setting.

“The examinees will be required to deal with different situations. For instance, a patient may have a complicated prescription or medical condition that will require great skills and knowledge while dispensing the medicines. To conduct the examination, we should first develop the models and find people who are ready to act as patients,” said Al Khanji.

The QCPH is organising a three-day workshop from today at the Ritz-Carlton, in collaboration with the College of Pharmacy and the University of Toronto.

The workshop will have 50 participants including pharmacists, students and professors of the Pharmacy College and representatives of SCH and QCHP.

There is a plan to include OBSE in the final examination of the College, the SCH said in a separate statement yesterday.

“The workshop will focus on developing samples to assess the practical ability of the pharmacy graduates and pharmacy practitioners and make a comprehensive assessment if they are equipped to work as licensed pharmacists according to the rules and standards,” said the statement.

“Anyone working as a licensed pharamacist will be required to pass this examination,” it added.

The workshop is the first phase of an implementation plan that will include a training programme for the examiners and preparation of volunteers who will be acting as patients.     The Peninsula

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