ACLS mandatory for primary care doctors

Government doctors currently employed in ministry clinics or accident & emergency departments will be unable to renew their contracts unless they are qualified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), a senior government official has said.

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By  Joanne Bladd Published  September 13, 2006

Government doctors currently employed in ministry clinics or accident & emergency departments will be unable to renew their contracts unless they are qualified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), a senior government official has said. To date, doctors working in primary care settings have only be required to demonstrate basic life saving (BSL) training. Now, under the new ruling doctors will be unable to renew their annual contracts if they have not undergone training in ACLS procedures. ACLS is a detailed medical protocol for the provision of cardiac care in settings ranging from the pre-hospital environment to the A&E setting. As an extension of basic life saving techniques, ACLS requires extensive medical knowledge and hands-on training and, as such, is only employed by qualified healthcare providers. The move, scheduled to come into effect in July next year, will see an estimated 300 doctors working at the ministry’s 13 hospitals or 61 primary healthcare units undergo training. “As these doctors encountering accident and emergency cases, it is appropriate that they are equipped with life-saving techniques,” Dr Abdul Gaffar Al Hawi, assistant undersecretary of curative medicines, said. He added that doctors applying to work within these fields would also have to demonstrate ACLS qualifications to be eligible for employment. In a circular to hospitals, the ministry said a committee had been appointed to organise training sessions within ministry hospitals. The first sessions are due to take place in September. “We will schedule sessions to ensure minimum disruption to the public,” said Dr Mustafa Al Hashimi, director of primary healthcare. It is thought the ministry’s move to qualify all primary care doctors is part of a wider plan to win JCI accreditation for government hospitals. Under international standards, ACLS training is a requisite for doctors working in A&E environments.

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