The bespoke training course aims to build age-appropriate professional capacity and capability in the healthcare sector
Doha, 27 October 2021: As the population of older adults grows in Qatar, so does the need for more qualified healthcare professionals who can deliver expert age-appropriate care. Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Geriatric & Long-Term Care Department has developed a targeted geriatric training course for non-geriatric physicians, which is the first such professional training in this region. The course was initiated on Sunday 17 October 2021 with a cohort of HMC geriatric educators addressing the first batch of physicians from various primary health care centers.
Dr. Hanadi Al-Hamad, National Lead for Healthy Ageing for the Qatar Ministry of Public Health (National Health Strategy 2018 – 2022) and Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute highlighted the need for greater professional awareness of geriatric syndromes and care. “Similar to other part of the globe, the life expectancy of Qatar’s population is increasing and for Qataris this is now around 80 years. While this is a wonderful testimony to the provision of high quality healthcare and the standard of living possible in this country, not all people are ageing without experiencing various health conditions that affect their quality of life and that of their family and community. Multiple chronic conditions or other diseases along with cognitive impairment can sometimes complicate diagnosis and treatment, which can have a serious impact on the individual’s life and that of their family”.
“With this bespoke training program we aim to build geriatrician capacity and capability in Qatar. This will help us to reach another National Health Strategy goal for Healthy Ageing, which is to have more qualified staff resources to deliver better age-appropriate care to our older population. We have already worked closely and successfully with our Primary Health colleagues in delivering geriatric training for nurses and the time is right now to also provide advanced training for doctors,” added Dr. Al-Hamad
The comprehensive 5-week course commenced with a week of interactive lectures which will be followed by access to online course materials and webinar sessions, two days of simulation training in the ITQAN Clinical Simulation and Innovation Center. An additional two weeks of clinical attachment and observation in a geriatric ward or clinic at HMC will provide practical training. The goal is to offer regular courses in the future, and therefore the close collaboration with PHCC is hugely important to ensuring the right level of education is delivered to optimize the benefit for older patients and their families.
Dr. Ameera Al Khuzaei, Community Medicine Consultant at Primary Health Care Corporation addressed the specially selected Primary Health physicians at the start of the course with a strong message about the importance of investing in this targeted professional development.
“Primary health physicians are well trained in family medicine practices; however, they often see older patients with specific healthcare needs that require more specialized knowledge. As the new generation of healthcare professionals, we are delighted that this first group of doctors will learn more about the different needs of our elderly population and the specialist services available in Qatar. The additional expertise they will gain through this course will be valuable to the care they provide to patients in their health center. This opportunity is not only useful for their personal career development but it represents an important step in enhancing the care of older patients in the primary healthcare sector,” said Dr Al Khuzaei.