Omani Council for Medical Specialties working on 31 projects as part of annual plan

Oman Saturday 22/June/2024 12:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Omani Council for Medical Specialties working on 31 projects as part of annual plan

Muscat: The Oman Medical Specialty Board OMSB is an essential source for advancing medical professions and achieving a high level of competence for healthcare workers in the Sultanate of Oman to reach a healthier and happier society. The Board is making persistent and continuous efforts to establish a solid base of medical education programs, intensive specialised training, and continuous and diligent follow-up, which ensures the provision of outputs based on science and with a spirit of creativity and innovation to keep pace with progress and rapid development in the field of medicine and treatment techniques.

The Council is interested in raising the quality of advanced medical training and education by providing all its human and technical needs and creating opportunities for accelerated work on several projects that can achieve the desired goal of graduating doctors with academic and training levels that keep pace with the outputs of developed countries.

The Omani medical cadres have proven their competence through their excellence and seriousness at the international level in more than one forum and achieving advanced positions in the quality of medical and scientific research provided outside the Sultanate of Oman. To achieve the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, the OMSB continues to work on its five-year objectives (2021-2025), which are to establish and accredit national standards for medical training programs and institutions, empower trainee doctors to contribute to finding innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the health system and develop an advanced medical education system characterised by governance and leadership development.

The Council works to ensure the competence of licensed health practitioners in the Sultanate of Oman, build partnerships with the private sector in providing and developing services related to medical education, and develop and provide educational and training content that enhances the use of modern technology and empowers trainee doctors with concepts and skills related to public health.

 In this regard, Her Excellency Dr. Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Ajamiya, CEO of the Omani Council for Medical Specialties, confirmed to the Oman News Agency that the Council would continue to work on strategic projects emanating from its strategic objectives and linked to the objectives of the priority of health, the priority of the private sector, investment and international cooperation, and the priority of governance of the state’s administrative apparatus, resources and projects in "Oman Vision 2040".

 Her Excellency said that to achieve these goals, the Council is currently working on implementing 31 projects and initiatives within this year’s annual plan, in addition to several initiatives related to the outputs of the Human Resources for Health Laboratory in coordination with the Ministry of Health and many relevant authorities whose goals and projects are integrated with the Council.

Her Excellency added that the Council has set its vision as an umbrella to advance the medical professions for distinguished health care. This will be achieved through its mission, which aims to develop health personnel by qualifying specialised doctors and ensuring the competence of workers in the health sector for a healthier and happier society.

The strategic plan of OMSB is to work on five projects aimed at strengthening the fields of medical education and raising the levels of professional competence of health practitioners in the health sector in the Sultanate of Oman as work continues on the project to develop medical training and health innovation, which aims to adopt tools and innovation programs in developing medical education and training programmes, in addition to the National Center for Examinations project, which aims to provide professional classification exams for health practitioners, and exams for speciality and fellowship programs, in addition to two projects to align medical specialities with the needs of the health sector and develop the advanced medical education system that is being worked on in line with the variables of the general directions of the strategy.

The Sultanate of Oman coordinates with several entities, the most important of which are the Ministry of Health and the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit. Finally, the digital transformation and procedures automation project is through which the OMSB seeks to facilitate business and smooth procedures and services provided to various beneficiaries.

The Oman Medical Specialty Board receives applications for admission from doctors wishing to join its specialised training programs. It targets the largest number of doctors to join the specialised training programs and local fellowship programs according to the available training opportunities, and the number of those accepted is based on vacant opportunities in other health institutions.

 The council currently includes 20 specialised training programs: histology, anaesthesia, clinical biochemistry, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, general dentistry, general surgery, haematology, internal medicine, microbiology, and neurology. Obstetrics, gynaecology, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopaedics, ear, nose and throat surgery, paediatrics, psychiatry, and radiology.

705 male and female doctors are currently studying in all specialities. They were selected according to international principles applicable in various countries and accordance with the institutional requirements of the International Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the United States of America (ACGME-I). The council accepted 193 doctors into local programs (specialisation), and five enrolled. Doctors in local training programs (fellowship) in 2024/2025.

So far, 15 batches have graduated from the Council, bringing the total number of graduate doctors to 1,364 male and female doctors, including 1,351 graduates from speciality programs and 13 from local fellowship programs.

Fellowship doctors are trained in 7 local fellowship programs in the specialities of adult cardiology, pediatric cardiology, and cardiology: pediatric haematology and oncology, genetic medicine, otology and surgery. The first batch of doctors joined the adult haematology program and the pediatric intensive care program in the academic year 2023 - 2024, and 15 male and female doctors are currently training in various local fellowship programs, in addition to several general doctors enrolled in training in the general foundation program.

The Oman Medical Specialty Board provides the trainee doctor with the opportunity to train in several accredited training centres within the Sultanate of Oman, such as the Medical City for Military and Security Services, the University Medical City, and Ministry of Health hospitals such as the Royal Hospital, Khawla Hospital, Al Nahda Hospital, Al Masarra Hospital, Sohar Hospital, Nizwa Hospital, and Al Rustaq Hospital, in addition to many health centres in Muscat Governorate.

After completing the training period and passing the prescribed examinations, the board grants the resident physician a certificate of completion of training and a certificate of speciality. Simulation-based medical education is considered one of the most important methods used in medical education. It provides a safe and supportive environment for learning, as it allows trainees at all levels to practice and develop their practical skills without harming the safety of patients. It also enables them to repeat the training steps until they reach the degree of proficiency.

The Center for Medical Simulation and Innovation, established in 2013, aims to bring together all medical branches and specialities and improve the skills of health staff through training, research, evaluation and innovation to reduce the financial and moral burden and improve patient care and safety through simulation training. To achieve mastery in medical education and ensure safety. For patients, the board provides several training courses and workshops, whether for residents of the Council or other doctors and health sector workers in the Sultanate of Oman.

 The Oman Medical Specialties Board is keen to provide basic facilities to support contemporary medical training that keeps pace with innovation in the field. The Medical Simulation and Innovation Center is a basic facility for simulation-based medical education and training.

OMSB uses medical simulation techniques in specialised medical training in a safe and modern environment. It also provides several modern and advanced technologies, such as education based on simulation, virtual reality, augmented reality, computer simulation, 3D printing devices, and others.

One of the centre’s most important achievements is that it received the award for the best initiative in “Innovation and Employment of Advanced Technologies” in the Digital Excellence Awards in the Government Sector, within the activities of the COMEX International Technology Exhibition for 2024. Last year, 2023, it received two awards in the “Innovation” and “3D Printer” categories. About his role in training health personnel using modern technologies at the “Future Skills and Human Resources Development” conference.

During the past year, the Center implemented 522 training programs and workshops, attended by 9,138 participants, in addition to the various and numerous activities that it carries out regularly in cooperation with specialised training programs throughout the year in medical laboratories that are available for doctors' use and contribute to the progress of the educational and training process.

In distance education, the Center cooperated with the World Health Organization to produce interactive educational courses available on the national electronic platform for health education, “Tibyan,” which deals with distance training. 35,991 trainees benefited from the training courses available on this platform in 2023.

The Oman Medical Specialties Board (OMSB) has an electronic medical library, which is considered one of the most important facilities supporting members of the health sector in the Sultanate of Oman. Its importance is increasing year after year, as the number of visitors to its site during the year 2023 reached more than 12,300, who benefited from the sources and references available to serve medical education and scientific research.

 The Omani Medical Specialization Council pays great attention in its international relations to strengthening bilateral relations with regional and international institutions, creating training opportunities for Omani doctors abroad to obtain a speciality or fellowship qualification, and achieving the ultimate goal of establishing the council, which is to provide the best possible training for Omani doctors and improve the level of health care in Sultanate of Oman.

The OMSB seeks to strengthen its relations with the leading countries in the field of medical education and training and the development of medical examinations, as it has expanded its international relations, especially with medical institutions in several countries, including Canada, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, the United States of America, South Korea, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, The Republic of Germany, the Republic of Switzerland, and New Zealand.