This Code of Conduct establishes the standard of conduct which the State of Qatar expects from all healthcare professionals. The Code encapsulates both the professional and ethical standards required, both of which are key elements to ensuring a safe and efficient healthcare delivery.
The Code applies to the following healthcare professionals:
E. Allied Healthcare professionals
F. Complementary Medicine
G. Administrative Staff
The Code includes generally applicable principles as we all category specific principles.
Qatar Council for Healthcare Professionals – According to the Emiri decree No.7 was declared in March 2013, which provided for the establishment of the Qatar Council for Healthcare professionals (QCHP) as an independent council rather than being a department within the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of Health; and the Sole authority responsible for regulating of all healthcare professionals working in both governmental and private healthcare sectors in the state of Qatar.
2. BACKGROUND AND APPLICATION OF CODE
The Code, developed by the Fitness to Practice Department, QCHP to outline ethical responsibilities expected from all healthcare professionals who choose to practice in the State of Qatar. Code intent is to assist healthcare professional to deliver the required care and to benefit the broader community as it enables them to learn about the principles which healthcare professionals are expected to follow and apply in their routine work. This code is not a substitute for the provisions of legislation and case law. If there is any conflict between this code and the law, the law takes precedence.
3. PURPOSE OF CODE
The purpose of the Code of Conduct for Healthcare professionals is to:
3.1. To outline the standard of behavior expected of healthcare professional in State of Qatar.
3.2. To assist healthcare professionals to understand their responsibilities and obligations and provide guidance on expected behavior in the workplace.
3.3. To set a cohesive and consistent set of frameworks within which healthcare professionals can deliver quality care.
3.4. To improve quality of healthcare delivery thus enhancing its reputation locally, regionally and internationally.
4. USE AND COMPLIANCE TO CODE
4.1. Healthcare professionals shall be responsible for ensuring they understand and apply the Code in their day to day work. The Code shall be subject to periodical review, and efforts will be made to inform all stakeholders of this via website/email/circular/social media, etc. Healthcare professionals needs to ensure they too are utilizing the appropriate version.
4.2. All healthcare professionals shall adhere to the code of conduct in their personal and professional conducts. Noncompliance by healthcare professionals with the duties and responsibilities set out in the Code of Conduct, they are putting their own registration and/or facility at risk.
5. CODE – CORE COMPONENT
Qatar Code of Conduct for Healthcare Professionals is based on following core principle which are expected to be practice and adhere all time.
5.1. Patient care shall continue to remain the primary concern.
5.2. To know and work within the framework of competence as per scope of practice and adhering current acceptable standards.
5.3. Ensure effective communication with patients/legal guardians and other professional and authority.
5.4. To be honest and truthful in portraying/providing information to employer, patients, community and legal authorities.
5.5. To ensure patient privacy and maintain confidentiality of information provided.
5.6. To maintain accurate and complete medical records for all the patients.
5.7. To ensure any advertising information is truthful, accurate and shall not induce unnecessary demands for your services
5.8. Respect your patient’s choice including second opinion, right to refuse and obtain informed consent to administer treatment.
5.9. Ensure high standard of personal conduct and behavior all time.
5.10. Treat patient/legal guardian/peer group as individuals and respect their dignity
5.11. Health care professionals should not involve patients in personal issues or solicit for personal gain.
5.12. To be open to suggestion/grievance from patients and others to improve the standards care.
6. THE CODE ; OBLIGATIONS
Healthcare professionals practicing in State of Qatar are expected to ensure the delivery of an efficient, safe and high-quality healthcare services. Healthcare professionals are accountable for their practice and are hence individually answerable for their actions and omissions. Following application of professional and ethical standards is paramount.
6.1. Respectful Care2
6.1.1. To respect patient rights to receive appropriate treatment regardless of age, gender, religion, race, nationality or social status and, in an emergency, the ability to pay.
6.1.2. Should provide health care services and treatment with appropriate attention, competence ; without unnecessary delay.
6.1.3. Should give essential physical, moral ; behavioral support.
6.1.4. Should respect patient’s dignity and privacy and treat them politely and considerately.
6.1.5. To be courteous, compassionate and honest and should respect the dignity, culture, ethnicity, values, religion and beliefs of the patient/client.
6.1.6. Shall not discriminate / harass between patients and colleagues on grounds of religious beliefs, culture, values, gender or nationality.
6.1.7. Should maintain appropriate professional boundaries in all relationships with patients/clients and their families.
6.1.8. Healthcare professionals shall encourage and respect the role of patients/legal guardian in shared decision-making process. To assist patient to choose most suitable preferences within the limits of lawful professional practice.
6.1.9. To ensure that his/her personal beliefs shall not prejudice patient’s care.
6.2. Competency ; Awareness of Limitation4,9,10
6.2.1. Healthcare Professionals shall ensure they are registered as per the laws and regulations of QCHP/MOPH, their practicing license is valid, and they are practicing within their scope of practice.
6.2.2. To undertake the activities that are within their scope of practice and to ensure patient safety is uncompromised. Scope of practice is based on their education, knowledge, competency, extent of experience as per QCHP/Registration Policies.
6.2.3. Practicing current evidence based scientific skills through updating personal ; group/team skills ; knowledge and pursue their medical education and training throughout the professional practice.
6.2.4. Should allocate, utilize and maintain appropriate resources in an effective and efficient manner to ensure patient safety.
6.2.5. Healthcare Professionals should personally be accountable for the provision of safe and competent care. It is their responsibility to maintain the competence necessary for current practice and to practice in a safe, competent and professional manner.
6.2.6. Should participate in coordinating and promoting the activities of QCHP/MOPH; to ensure their practice and the patient care are aligned with the policies and procedures of QCHP/MOPH
6.2.7. Healthcare Professionals should be aware of their personal limitations and deficiencies in knowledge and abilities and know when and whom to ask for supervision, assistance or consultation.
6.2.8. Shall not under any circumstances cause physical or psychological harm to a patient, their family and colleagues.
6.2.9. Health care professionals should know when and for whom to provide appropriate supervision.
6.2.10. Healthcare Professionals should not engage in unsupervised involvement in areas or situations where they are not adequately trained.
6.2.11. To effectively supervise tasks which is assigned to team members ensuring safety.
6.3. Continuing Professional Development5
6.3.1 Healthcare Professionals shall engage in learning activities that continuously enhance their knowledge, skills, competencies, and performance across their scope of practice.
6.3.2 Healthcare Professionals shall participate in appropriate learning activities to address their identified CPD needs and enhance their professional development.
6.3.3 Healthcare Professionals shall choose learning activities that are relevant to their professional roles and responsibilities and contribute to their career development.
6.3.4 Healthcare Professionals are required to continuously reflect on the evidence that informs their practice and identify the impact or outcome of engaging in learning activities (group learning, self-learning or assessment) on their knowledge, attitudes, skills, behavior or patient outcomes.
6.3.5 Healthcare Professionals are expected to self-assess their professional practice needs using external data sources with feedback and the impact of their learning activities on practice.
6.3.6 Shall appropriately contribute to the professional development of colleagues and students.
6.3.7 Should participate in task/mission assigned to them by QCHP that requires utilizing their expertise in his/her field.
6.4. Practice Professionally2,9,10
6.4.1. Healthcare Professionals shall consistently demonstrate openness, honesty and ethical in their professional practice.
6.4.2. Healthcare Professionals shall always act promptly to put matters right, if that is possible to ensure patient safety.
6.4.3. When care plan does not go as intended, Healthcare Professionals have a responsibility to be open and honest in their communication with the patient/legal guardian.
6.4.4. Healthcare Professionals shall maintain appropriate boundaries and not abuse their professional position to establish or pursue a physical or other inappropriate relationship with anybody under their care. This includes those close to the patient/client such as their caregivers, guardian or spouse or anyone under their supervision such as a student Healthcare Professionals or colleagues.
6.4.5. Healthcare Professionals shall avoid expressing personal beliefs including political, spiritual, religious or moral beliefs to patients/legal guardian or their caregivers in ways that exploit their vulnerability or that are likely to cause them distress.
6.4.6. Shall work collaboratively within health care teams, and respect the skills, expertise and contributions of colleagues.
6.4.7. When working as a member of a team, they shall communicate effectively and disseminate knowledge, skill and expertise as required for the benefit and safety of patients.
6.4.8. Shall support colleagues who appropriately and professionally notify circumstances of unsafe and unethical practices.
6.4.9. Healthcare Professionals shall understand their duty to support the community to deal in a sound manner with the reality of disease condition and its consequences.
6.4.10. Should give priority to the investigation and treatment of patients solely on the basis of clinical need.
6.4.11. Should respect the patient’s right to informed consent and to seeking a second opinion regarding the care they receive.
6.4.12. Where there is a suspicion or issue of child abuse or any other form of abuse or medicolegal case, Healthcare Professionals shall report such suspicions and to comply with Qatari regulatory requirements.
6.4.13. Should ensure that professional status is not used in the promotion of commercial products or services and that the status of being a Healthcare Professionals is not used for personal gain or any form of rewards / incentives that are not part of the stipulated conditions of his/her employment. Should not be taking advantage of privileged position for personal gain.
6.4.14. Should have a responsibility to conduct themselves according to the Qatar laws and regulations as well as Islamic principals in what they do, and in their interaction with patients receiving care as well as with families, communities and other members of the health care team.