SCH to set up panel on rights of patients

January 12, 2014 - 4:34:45 am

DOHA: The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) is working to set up an independent body to advise the public on issues related to medical errors and patients’ rights.

The proposed body will guide the patients on the recourse on suffering harm due to negligence or errors by healthcare providers or practitioners, both in the private and public 

sectors.

The new panel was proposed by Qatar Council for Health Practitioners (QCHP) at the Supreme Council of Health, which is the authorised body to receive and investigate complaints related to medical errors. 

The QCHP is also responsible for licensing healthcare practitioners in the country.

“We are working on establishing a patient advisory body, which is new concept in Qatar. It will be an independent committee comprising community representatives that will advise people on issues related to medical errors and patient safety. This committee will work closely with the QCHP,” Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, QCHP’s acting Chief Executive Officer told this daily yesterday.

A patient can directly approach the QCHP if he wants to complain about the treatment from any healthcare practitioner or provider. 

However, many people do not know about the procedures and requirements if they want to lodge a complaint and how to approach the QCHP.

The new body will inform people about their rights as patients and give them guidance on how to lodge a complaint by looking into all aspects of the issue in question,” said Al Khanji.

He said the members of the committee will be experts selected from the community.

“There will be a wise selection process to ensure that the members act independently and have the skills and knowledge to do their job properly,” said 

Al Khanji.

He said a decision has already been taken to establish the committee and QCHP is working on the details.

Meanwhile, the SCH will launch its first Patient Safety Week today to raise awareness among the medical community and the public on the importance of preventing errors and accidents in healthcare setting.

“This campaign is targetted at all segments of the society. Healthcare practitioners and providers should become more aware of their responsibilities while the public should know more about their rights and how to protect them,” said 

Al Khanji.

The Week, to be held every year, will comprise a series of workshops involving local, regional and international experts.

“We have already started distributing flyers and brochures to the public at major shopping complexes to educate them on patient safety and patient’s rights,” said Al Khanji.

The Peninsula

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