Saturday, September 30, 2023
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With quality healthcare in mind

Rizal Faisal

Quality and patient safety are vital to improving healthcare, which can be realised through research, clinical audits, service evaluation and innovation. By equipping health professionals with knowledge and skills in research and audit, it will not only improve their personal development, but can be projected onto the bigger clinical picture to be incorporated in their medical practice.

This was highlighted by the President of Brunei Medical Association (BMA) Hajah Susalnoor binti Haji Suhailee in her welcoming speech during the launch of a four-part series of educational research webinars held every Sunday in December 2021. The webinars were targetted at healthcare professionals to highlight the importance of clinical research and audit. It also aimed at equipping participants with skills required to implement research and audit as part of quality improvement in patient care as well as for their own professional development.

In addition, the webinars aided healthcare professionals in adopting a confident mindset when implementing research and audit, or when faced with errors or incidents at work.

Clinical audit can improve the standard of healthcare practice in relation to the standards of best practices and is often the primary step in the quality improvement process.

Meanwhile, research aims to develop and generate new knowledge that will lead to changes in healthcare practices, which can positively impact quality.

The webinars encompassed topics on audits (Week One), types of clinical research and how to write case reports (Week Two), introduction to biostatistics (Week Three) and how to design clinical research and ethics in research (Week Four).

The presentations were delivered in an interactive manner, where brainstorming, discussions and group presentations among participants were facilitated by BMA committee members. This was seen as an essential means of keeping participants constantly engaged, and that their research or audit plans were supported throughout the webinars to ensure a fruitful outcome.

Guest speakers from the Ministry of Health included well-renowned clinical researchers who are also consultants in their fields – Dr Chong Vui Heng and Dr Jackson Tan. Meanwhile, guest speakers from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) included Professor Dr Md Ayub Sadiq, Dr Nik Tuah, Dr Fazean Irdayati Idris and Dr Asmah Husaini, who provided expertise in their designated topics for each webinar.

The webinars were met with high regards from participants, comprising doctors and allied health care professionals.

Registration slots for a maximum of 50 participants were sold out in a matter of days.
Participants were positive in evaluating the outcome of the webinars.

A junior doctor working at RIPAS Hospital Dr Khairulsadek said, “The BMA has certainly not let COVID-19 hinder the committee from organising online CME activities for doctors in Brunei Darussalam. As a junior trainee myself, I found the webinar series on clinical audits and research very useful and would definitely be helpful in my career progression as a physician. I hope BMA would continue providing CME activities to local physicians”.

Meanwhile, surgical trainee Dr Dayangku Nurhamizah said, “I signed up for the webinars as I see them as refresher courses. The lectures and interactive workshops have definitely made me feel more confident in conducting audits and research. I hope to apply such skills to my career in the surgical field”.

The webinars were equally met with enthusiasm by physiotherapist from Panaga Health Centre Suhanna Damon, who expressed her appreciation for BMA by saying, “Thank you BMA for the well-organised webinar series. I appreciated the relaxing ambience and breakout room activities which aid in the learning of these important topics. Thank you also to representatives from UBD for the compact yet comprehensive guidance, and to the invited clinicians who shared their expertise and first-hand experience of going through the clinical research journey while doing their clinical job. Lastly, the webinar series gave me a good overview to the clinical audit and clinical research journey and provided great network should I need to reach out for help in the future.”

BMA was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies by a group of eager, young doctors in 2002 with the main objective of uniting members of the medical profession in promoting the welfare of its members, while serving to maintain the honour and interests of the medical profession in the Sultanate.

It was officially launched by the former Minister of Health on November 2, 2008. BMA was previously presided by current Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar.

As a member of the Medical Association of Southeast Asian Nations (MASEAN), BMA is a representative of the medical profession in the Sultanate and is streamlined with the objectives of national medical associations within the region particularly within ASEAN, which include voicing the views of the profession in matters relating to the health and well-being of the community, as well as to support a high standard of medical ethics and conduct among health professionals. 

The association members further said that, in line with its motto ‘United to Serve’, it provides a platform and medium for doctors and dentists to collectively deliver a united and stronger front when voicing concerns such as welfare matters and as a means of serving the community.

BMA regularly promotes social, cultural, charitable and professional activities among members of the association and targetted audiences.

Membership is open to every medical practitioner registered with the Brunei Medical Board and also offers life, honorary, student and overseas memberships.

The current executive committee of BMA are Hajah Susalnoor binti Haji Suhailee (President), Dr Muhammad Abang Fahmy bin Abang Hepnie (Vice-President), Dr Haji Aziman bin Dato Paduka Haji Yaakob (Secretary), Dr Muhammad Hanif bin Ahmad (Deputy Secretary 1), Dr Dayangku Nurhamizah binti Pengiran Haji Zaini (Deputy Secretary 2), Dr Fazean Irdayati binti Idris (Treasurer), Dr Alia Zuhaidah binti Shazli (Deputy Treasurer), Dr Jimmy Chin (Public Relations) and Dr Zawani binti Ishak (Deputy Public Relations).

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