Fitness to Practice

Regulation of private health care practitioners

Due to the urgent need to regulate healthcare practitioners in the State of Qatar, the Medical Licensing Department was established as one of the departments within Ministry of Public Health under Article No. (9) Of Law No. (13) Of the year 2002, and its responsibilities are defined under article No. (13) Of the above mentioned law.

“Compliance and Investigation” Section was established in 2009 to work with the Medical Licensing Department, for the purpose of protecting the public against unsafe, un-ethical, or improper practices and to monitor the performance of healthcare practitioners in order to ensure their abidance with the rules and regulations of the health sector within the State.

Emiri decree No.7 was declared in March 2013, regarding the establishment of Department of Health Practitioners under the umbrella of Supreme Council of Health; and the sole authority responsible for regulating all healthcare practitioners working in both governmental and private healthcare sectors in the State of Qatar. Hence, the “Compliance and Investigation” section was also changed to “Fitness to Practice Department” to work as one of the departments of Department of Health Practitioners.

The Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners and Permanent Licensing Committee (PLC) are responsible about regulating private and public healthcare practitioners to ensure safe, high-quality healthcare for the public in licensed healthcare facilities in Qatar.

All private and public healthcare practitioners require a license to practice in licensed healthcare facility. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Physicians

  • Dentists

  • Pharmacists

  • Nurses

  • Allied health practitioners

The Permanent Licensing Committee is also responsible about regulating the healthcare facilities in the country.

The Fitness to Practice Department of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners aims to:
  • Protect the public from incompetence, unsafe or unethical practice
  • Promote and support high standards of professional practice

Responsibilities of FTP Department

Since its establishment, the Fitness to Practice assumed the following responsibilities:

  1. Developing and implementing policies and processes for

    1. The fair, speedy, and efficient investigation and resolution of complaints regarding practitioner conduct and competence, and

    2. The promotion of awareness of the conduct required of practitioners and the rights of healthcare consumers.

  2. Ensuring that all stakeholders have convenient access to clear information on complaints, investigations and hearing policies and processes and that staff respond to inquiries accurately and in a timely and courteous manner

  3. Ensure all complaints, investigations and hearings-related information and records are accurate, complete, and handled in a confidential manner

  4. Monitoring the compliance of healthcare practitioners to Department of Health Practitioners the policies and procedures.

  5. Liaising with law enforcement agencies, the Qatar court system, and other organizations as appropriate.

What can I do if I am not happy with the healthcare service I have received?

If you are not happy with any aspect of healthcare treatment you have received, you should first try to speak to the practitioner concerned or the Medical Director of the facility in order to explain what happened and why you are not satisfied.

Many complaints can be resolved directly by practitioners and facilities if concerns are raised promptly, and if both parties listen to each other and communicate openly and respectfully.

If the explanation or action taken at the local level does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you can file a complaint to the Fitness to Practice Department through Governmental Health Communication Center (GHCC).

What kind of complaints does FTP deal with?

The Department deals with complaints about the professional conduct, competence or fitness to practice of healthcare practitioners.

Complaints about healthcare practitioners vary widely and could include:

  1. Poor standards of clinical care

  2. Unethical conduct or behavior

  3. Expecting Medical error or Negligence in treatment.

  4. Practicing without license or out of scope.

  5. Concerns might also be raised about practitioner’s physical or mental health which could affect their practice.

Note: The Department cannot award compensation or order a practitioner/facility to refund fees.

What information should I include in my complaint?

FTP Department will require certain information in order to initiate the investigations which might include followings:

  1. Your full name and contact details and the name and contact details of patient if you are submitting a complaint on behalf of patient (mobile registered in the facility and Email address)

  2. The name and Scope of the healthcare practitioner/and the practice facility or the location of the incident

  3. The date(s) of treatment

  4. The type of treatment received

  5. Details of what happened and the particular issues you are concerned about

  6. The names of other medical/health practitioners you have consulted in or out of the same facility.

  7. Copies of any documents you have related to your complaint, such as medical records/reports, test results, x-rays or correspondence

How will the submitted complaint be managed?

The Fitness to Practice Department will initially assess your complaint to decide what, if any, action should be taken. The level of investigation undertaken will vary dependant on the seriousness and circumstances of each complaint but may include:

  • Gathering copies of medical records and reports/patient medical file

  • Asking for an explanation and reports from all treating practitioners from the facility concerned

  • Inviting the other practitioners’ response from same and/or other facilities (if any)

  • Obtaining a report from independent experts after examining patient (if required)

  • Present all the related documents to Permanent Licensing Committee (PLC) for decision/action.

  • Inform practitioner and complainant about PLC’s decision.

What can the Department do?

The Fitness to Practice Department has the power to take one or more than one of the actions below, if needed:

  • Give verbal advice, caution to practitioner /facility

  • Issue written caution or warning to practitioner /facility

  • Require a practitioner to improve his knowledge/skill or the way they practice

  • Reevaluate or imitated his/her surgical privileges,

  • Change scope of his/her practice / downgrading type of his/her license.

  • Auditing for facility

  • Suspend practitioner from practicing for a certain period as per the Qatari Law.

  • A partial closure for facility or whole closure for a certain period as per the Qatari Law.

  • Assess the practitioner’s competence or health.

  • Cancel /revoke a practitioner’s / facility’s license.

  • Prosecute anyone practicing without a license

  • Black listing the practitioner and circulating his/her name among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

  • Some complaints can be closed without taking any action when no evidence of medical error, misconduct, mismanagement or negligence is found.

Contact Channels:

The Fitness to Practice Department (FTP), is set to carry out its aforementioned responsibilities with utmost competency, on daily basis, under highly qualified, dedicated and vigilant Qatari leadership striving for the protection of the health and safety of all the people living within the state of Qatar through ensuring the competency and fitness of all the professionals working in the Health Sector.

FTP is devoted to strictly observe the confidentiality of the information it receives and the identity of the complainant. Please find below the names and job titles of the Fitness to practice team for your convenience to contact if you have any complaints, concerns, and inquiries:

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