Focus on commitment, not entitlements, doctors told

Azlan Othman

It is important to have doctors with a high sense of commitment and not a high sense of entitlement, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Dr Haji Zulaidi bin Haji Abdul Latif said.

“We wish to have a workforce that will promote and enhance a patient safety culture,” he said.

Dr Haji Zulaidi said, “We aspire that patients will have a positive and satisfying experience when they are under our care. We have to continuously improve our health system to be the best and as safe as possible.

“Central to achieving this is to have a workforce that embraces excellence. We have to develop the right people with the right skills, values and attitude. Willingness to go that extra mile is a very important attitude.”

Dr Haji Zulaidi, who is also the Chairperson of the Postgraduate Advisory and Training Board (PGATB) at the MoH highlighted this at the launch of a two-day Clinical Faculty Development Workshop: Key Concepts in Medical Education at the Anatomy Resource Centre, Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

The MoH developed its 2019-2023 strategic plan outlining five strategic goals supporting to achieve excellence in health care services, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, protection of public health through effective policies and regulations, sustainability through resource optimisation and innovation and transparent and proactive governance.

Dr Haji Zulaidi said the first strategic goal, which is excellence in healthcare services, has 11 initiatives and 40 action plans to guide us in the journey towards achieving it.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health Dr Haji Zulaidi bin Haji Abdul Latif speaks at the launch event. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

“Through these 11 initiatives we hope to improve and have a system that will promote the provision of high quality healthcare services, placing the patient at the centre of our care, that emphasises patient safety and embracing the use of standardised and evidence-based medical/surgical intervention and management,” he said.

“We hope to introduce an efficient healthcare delivery that provides timely healthcare services and an integrated healthcare as well as reducing waiting time, maximising resources and reducing waste through leverage on digital transformation, big data and AI.”

Dr Haji Zulaidi added the MoH recognises the pivotal significance of the delivery of a high-quality medical education and training.

“This is where the Postgraduate Advisory and Training Board plays a role. PGATB through its foundation year (FY) training programmes for FY1 and FY2 since 2008, successfully conducted and trained 94 doctors in Brunei Darussalam. Currently there are seven FY1 and 10 FY2 doctors in training. Since 2018, the number of intake into the programme has increased from six to 12 per year.

“We will continue to offer and strengthen the foundation year training. Under PGATB, there are at least 66 local doctors undergoing Basic Specialty Training (BST) in various specialties such as 15 in primary healthcare, three in internal medicine, three in paediatrics, 13 in surgery, three in anaesthesia, eight in public health and 10 in dentistry.”

Dr Haji Zulaidi also hoped to develop more systematic and standardised training programmes in other specialties.

He added, “BST set a stepping stone for them to progress further in their career as doctors and for them to undergo advanced specialty training which currently is still done overseas. It is our goal to strengthen BST further this year and to work with the Master of Medicine programme. What we aspire is to develop highly competent and skilful doctors with good communication and research skills.”

The inaugural workshop brought together over 80 experts and clinical educators from various public and private healthcare facilities in Brunei Darussalam. The workshop aimed at providing clinicians with the knowledge, skills and attitude to be effective educators and supervisors in the classroom and in the clinical setting.

It is envisaged that such skills would enhance and innovate their teaching and supervisory skills to meet current and future demands for the healthcare system. The two-day workshop introduced participants to key principles of teaching, learning, assessments, supervision, mentorship and support. Participants were presented with focussed learning sessions in research, virtual/digital learning pedagogy and appraisal. The importance of lifelong learning was also emphasised throughout the sessions.

The workshop was organised to support the MoH’s mission in improving the health and well-being of the people in Brunei Darussalam; specifically in promoting excellence in the provision of healthcare services in the country – a key strategic goal outlined in the MoH’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023.