Muscat: Under the theme ‘Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety’, the Ministry of Health (MoH) represented by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance Centre held a virtual conference with the participation of many stakeholders worldwide.
The conference aimed to raise awareness on the safety of health workers and patients, and adopting strategies for their wellbeing.
Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, emphasised in a recorded address that the health cadres are the greatest weapon in encountering challenges faced by patients, and they are a wealth that cannot be replaced. They are the biggest help to patients, and ensuring their safety is necessary to provide high-quality healthcare services to patients.”
Dr Qamra Al Sariri, Director General of Quality Assurance Centre affirmed that the Sultanate was selected as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Quality of Care and Patient Safety in the fourth quarter of 2018 as a tribute to the significant progress made by the country over the past 10 years in the field of quality and patient safety and continued cooperation with WHO through the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.
In this regard, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean said: “It is crucial that we recognise the professionalism and dedication of health workers and invest greater resources to protect them from the occupational risks they face at the workplace. Eight months into this pandemic we still see countries facing challenges in procuring adequate personal protective equipment for health workers and increasing testing capacity, which is impeding early detection, isolation of cases and tracing of contacts. This is placing health workers at unnecessary risk of infection, especially as we know that a large number of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic”.
Dr Al Mandhari added that training on infection prevention and control measures is needed for those working on the frontlines of this pandemic, coupled with supportive measures to enhance compliance of these measures in the workplace.
This year’s World Patient Safety Day (WPSD) highlights core themes related to the safety of health workers, including occupational and environmental safety at workplace, mental and psychosocial health, as well as means and importance of following precautionary measures to prevent epidemic at workplace environment, and the significance of qualifying and training professional competitive personnel capable of countering pandemics.
Lectures in the first session addressed safe space for staff and patients, role of the Central Public Health Laboratories during the SARS-COV-2 Pandemic, safe handling of hazardous drugs, as well as clinical risk management in Oman. The second sessions embarked on supporting health workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hand Hygiene, Occupational safety and health of health workers, and Risk Management and Professionals Safety.
The Third National Patient Safety Day underlines the most significant national achievements that have been accomplished in the field of patient-optimising and health workers safety. Additionally, the day allows for exchange and sharing of the best knowledge to be presented to local and international experts with the aim of improving the work of the health system by raising awareness about the importance of health worker safety and its interlinkages with patient safety.