MoPH issues memo on usage of social media platforms by healthcare practitioners in Qatar

Doha: Department of Healthcare Professions at the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has issued a memo to all healthcare practitioners and healthcare facilities in Qatar regarding advertising and usage of social media platforms by healthcare practitioners in Qatar.

MoPH also clarified that it is not a ban on doctors or clinicians using social media, but a reminder on what not to share on social media platforms.

“The memo issued by the Ministry of Public Health is in no way a ban on doctors or clinicians using social media. In fact, we encourage and support clinicians to use media platforms to talk about the medical subjects they specialise in. 

However, the memo is deigned to remind all clinicians in Qatar that they should not advertise devises or equipment that are not licensed for use in the State of Qatar. They should not to share confidential patient information or data, and they should not to use their platforms to advertise non-medical products or services,” MoPH said.

The full memo issued by the Department of Healthcare Professions 

Based on The Permanent Licensing Committee decision and in perusing the regulatory role of DHP in monitoring healthcare partitioners compliance to practice within their approved scopes/clinical/surgical privileges to provide services to public through qualified, licensed practitioners in licensed healthcare facilities. 

Thus, and to ensure organizational accountability, patient protection and safeguarding of data and reinforcing the need for healthcare advertising to be accurate and safe, The Department urges all healthcare facilities and practitioners within the State of Qatar to ensure the validity and accuracy of information published on all social media platforms through the following:

1. Not to advertise in any form that is not consistent with professional dignity and ethics. 
2. Not to use pictures, videos and language in advertisements which violates Islamic
culture and society traditions. 
3. Practitioners credentials are correctly stated including information related to license to practice, type of license obtained (temporary/permanent/locum), and scope of specialization (including academic qualifications), as recognized by Registration Section/DHP without any modifications either by deletion or inclusion of incorrect data. 
4. To correctly state the approved clinical/surgical privileges only granted to the practitioner by Registration Section/DHP without any amendment. 
5. To advertise only about medical services/procedures provided by using medical devices/equipment that have formal approvals from concerned authority/Ministry of Public Health and Not to advertise or promote for non-medical services. 
6. To advertise only about medical/therapeutic services provided through registered drugs/medications approved by Department of Pharmacy and Drug Control/MOPH. 
7. Not to promote drugs/pharmaceutical products or any medical services or lending their names for commercial purposes in any form of advertisements. 
8. Not to use patient's pictures, videos, and/or personal information. 
9. Not to video shoot and/or live broadcast as an advertisement to promote the facility or its practitioners, while the patient is undergoing surgery or when patient is under general anesthesia in any licensed healthcare facility. 
10. Not to provide specific medical consultation to their followers through SMP. 11. To respect The State of Qatar copyright laws & regulations. 
12. Content of advertisement must be approved in writing by both, medical director of the facility and practitioner, as all involved parties will be liable in case of non-compliance.
This circular is applicable from the date of its' issuance. The Department will monitor all advertisements and non-compliance with the above-mentioned instructions will result in taking legal actions against both healthcare facilities and practitioners.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar