Medical council makes professional training mandatory for doctors

- Arjun Poudel, Kathmandu

Feb 17, 2019-

In a bid to keep medical doctors updated on their academic achievements and to enhance their skills, the Nepal Medical Council has introduced a new rule that requires all medical practitioners to take regular professional development training.

The council (NMC) has announced that doctors who do not participate in the training will not have their license renewed. Continuous Professional Development training involves processes that will maintain and enhance a doctor’s knowledge, skill and experience, even after the completion of their formal degree. The NMC said that the CPD is a lifelong process of learning and updating professional skills.

“We introduced the training for doctors in January,” NMC Chairman Dr Dharmakanta Baskota told the Post. He said all doctors must update their basic skills every five years. It can be in the form of fellowships, seminars, workshops, conference and continuous medical education, he added.

All doctors, including dentists, are required to participate in the training which includes basic life support techniques for emergencies, communication skills to communicate with patients’ parties, code of ethics to be followed by doctors, rational use of drugs to prevent doctors from prescribe medicines irrationally and techniques to prevent infection in health facilities.

Doctors also need to take effective communication skill training so that the family and relatives of the patients are also well informed from the very beginning about the condition and the treatment process, including operation and surgery.

In recent years, there have been reports of scuffles between hospitals/doctors and the kin of the patients in the event of death. At times, situations have taken a nasty turn in which doctors have been manhandled and hospitals have been vandalised. Dr Baskota believes that if doctors are equipped with effective communication skill, such incidences can be averted.

The medical council said the implementation of the code of ethics has been a challenge thus far and that such training could help in its effective enforcement. One of the biggest problems is how doctors and health institutions have been found advertising their skills and professions using means of mass communication, which according to the NMC, is against the code of ethics.

According to the NMC, regular training programmes will be organised in all seven provinces as well as in Kathmandu. “Trainers have already been sent to all seven provinces,” said Baskota.

The NMC said it has demanded Rs10 million from the Ministry of Health and Population to run the programme. “We have also sought the health ministry’s support to conduct free training to doctors serving in government health institutions,” said Baskota. The council has issued license to over 23,000 doctors across the country.

Published: 17-02-2019 11:00

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