Minister calls for high quality health services

MUSCAT: WHO’s Third Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication without Harm in the East Mediterranean Region was launched at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) on Sunday.
The two-day event is organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and SQU, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The opening ceremony was held under the patronage of Dr Rawya bint Saud al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher Education, in the presence of a number of ministers and under-secretaries.
Senior officials of the ministries of health and national focal points for patients’ safety and medication safety are participating in the event, along with representatives from related institutions and agencies at the regional and national levels, as well as representatives from hospitals.
The WHO’s global challenges on patients’ safety are primary programmes aim at introducing improvements in health systems and thereby, reducing risks and harms resulting from delivery of health services.
In this regard, the WHO launched earlier two global challenges.
The first challenge was in 2005 called “Clean Care is Safer Care” and the second one was in 2008 called “Safe Surgery Saves Lives”. This third challenge was officially launched by the WHO in Bonn, Germany, last March with participation of the Sultanate, represented by the Minister of Health.
During the meeting held in Bonn, the Organization has chosen the Sultanate to launch this challenge in the Eastern Mediterranean region due to its good reputation among the international institutions.
In her statement, Dr Rawya said that ensuring quality of various services provided is important for different institutions in the Sultanate. “The healthcare institutions in Oman, including those in the public and private sectors, seek to collaborate with regional and international organisations in order to implement the latest practices to raise the quality of healthcare they offer to the society. The participation of educational institutions in this event would help the students to increase their awareness on the globally accepted practices to ensure patients’ safety and high quality of healthcare services,” the minister added.
The opening remarks were delivered by Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, Director-General of Quality, MoH. “This meeting is the first launch for this challenge in the WHO six regions. The 3rd global challenge aims at reducing the harm caused by unsafe practices and medication errors. It focuses on improving the safety of medication by strengthening the systems required for reducing such errors. Launching this challenge coincides with the celebration of the First Annual World Patient Safety Day, that was allocated based on the Sultanate’s proposal to the WHO, which recently has been approved to be on September 17 each year,” Dr Al Mandhari said.
Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Regional Director, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of WTO, and Dr Ali bin Saud al Bimani, the Vice-Chancellor of SQU delivered the welcome
The vice-chancellor said that Sultan Qaboos University Hospital spares no effort to raise the quality of health services and patient safety.
“These valuable efforts were translated into a number of achievements. A clearest example of which was receiving an International Accreditation Certificate (ISO) 9001/2008 from 2005 to 2014. Additionally, in 2014, SQU Hospital was the first at the Sultanate to receive an accreditation from Accreditation Canada International for Health Care Institutions”.
Dr Al Bimani said that the Following-Up Center of the World Health Organization has praised the superiority of the Sultanate in the high percentage of reporting drugs’ side-effects over the region.
“The percentage of reporting drugs’ side effects at SQU Hospital reached 70 per cent, out of the total reports of the Sultanate, which proves the high awareness of healthcare workers on the importance of such reports.
At the national level, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, with all its departments and sectors, particularly its Department of Pharmacy, is deemed to be an excellent centre in Pharmacy Training as it receives trainees from all over the Sultanate in the field of Pharmaceutical Inquiries and Clinical Pharmacy,” he added.
Sir Liam Donaldson, a global leader in public health and healthcare quality and safety, gave an overview of WHO Global Patient Safety Challenges. He underscored the need for finding solutions to address many of the obstacles the world faces today to ensure the safety of medication practices.
During the opening ceremony, the WHO’s Third Global Patient Safety Challenge, the health institutions that participated in the WHO
Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative (PSFHI), namely Nizwa, Al Rustaq, Starcare and Riffah hospitals, were honoured.