The new electronic system to issue sick leave certificates will be mandatory for private doctors from January 2015, according to a statement issued by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH).
A total of 149 medical certificates were issued in the pilot phase of the Central Governmental Electronic Sick Leave System (E-Jaza), implemented in December.
Once fully implemented, the electronic system will replace the manual issuing of sick leave certificates, and will be first implemented in private clinics and hospitals.
The new system is being introduced to address frequent complaints about doctors issuing fake medical certificates.
Also, the Accreditation Electronic Management System, introduced for QCHP to receive and manage accreditation applications from healthcare practitioners, will issue medical licences electronically (e-License) from the end of January 2015, according to Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Acting CEO of QCHP.
QCHP will continue issuing electronic and manual licences during a month-long transition period. On expiry of the licence, the word ‘expired’ will appear on the electronic version, which will ensure credibility and transparency, he added.
Evaluation certificates, training and exam letters will also be issued electronically by QCHP, as well as police clearance letters, following a recent agreement between QCHP and the responsible authority in the Ministry of Interior.
The number of licences issued for healthcare practitioners, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, has increased by 40 percent from 2012 to 2014.
The number of licences for healthcare practitioners in 2012 was 12,335 and has reached 17,000 in 2014.
All healthcare practitioners in the private sector are being licensed by QCHP by 2014-end.
And government/semi-government healthcare providers registering for licences will complete the process by 2016-end.
An electronic complaint handling system is being developed within QCHP and in the country to ensure patient safety.
It will also have a safety alert system that integrates with other systems within the QCHP.
Dr Al Khanji said the upgraded system brings many additional enhancements and functions that will result in better electronic communication among all involved parties and thus saving time and efforts instead of sending multiple emails and re-applying requests.
In addition, an online payment option has been activated to accept payments for all registration and licensing requests instead of manual payment.
He said to promote sustainability and be more echo-friendly, QCHP will replace all paper requests with electronic systems which will also save a large number of resources and reduce cost by 96 percent compared to the previous manual methods.