Within the context of its strategy to carry out the national standards of health facilities and to enhance its surveillance and supervisory role, in addition to ensuring that the society has access to healthcare service in accordance with the highest global standards, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is keen to pursue its inspection campaigns, through a competent team from the Empowerment and Healthcare Compliance Department, to ensure the adherence of the medical facilities to requirements of practicing the profession.
These inspection visits are targeting around 200 medical and pharmaceutical facilities monthly. The number of facilities, which are inspected every three months, reaches 700 out of 2400 health and pharmaceutical facilities licensed by MoHAP.
The inspection teams are well-qualified to explain health facilities-related laws, legislations and circulars, and to stand on reasons of the violations spotted by MoHAP’s inspectors, so as to reduce those violations and to ensure the provision of a high-quality health service for members of the society.
The aim of these campaigns is to implement the national standards of health facilities and to enhance MoHAP’s surveillance and supervisory
role, in addition to providing a vital legislative framework and, governance, and distinctive regulatory and supervisory services for the healthcare sector, as well as updating the country’s health legislation in line with the UAE Vision 2021.
Violations are ranging from temporary closure down to final closure and license cancellation
Dr. Hessa Mubarak, Director of Health Empowerment and Compliance Department revealed that out of the 30 private companies ordered shut down by the Ministry, 18 are health centers and 12 were pharmacies. The move was based on the provisions of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Licenses Committee No. 4 for the year 2015 concerning private health facilities and Federal Law No. 4 for the year 1983 concerning Pharmaceutical facilities and the Pharmacy profession.
The number of closed facilities significantly dropped this year from 2017’s 42, an indication of the rising compliance of companies with the regulations under the Ministry’s strict supervision. To prevent non-compliance, the Ministry has been implementing programs and holding seminars to guarantee that all players in the local health sector adhere to the highest standards of quality and excellence; increase their awareness of health laws and regulations; and strengthen its own monitoring mechanism to catch violators.
Inspection Requirements and Compliance with Regulations
The teams found that some of the establishments failed to conform to the safety standards, with some even allowing their doctors and technicians to practice their profession without a license. Others also got failing remarks on proper waste disposal and proper storage of
medicines. Other violations included non-compliance with the medical and technical safety requirements in operating rooms and the engineering standards; improper sterilization of medical instruments; lack of ventilation system; manipulation of controlled medicines; and dispensation of antibiotics without prescriptions.
Temporary Closure an Opportunity to Comply
Dr. Hessa stated that the Ministry’s inspection and control teams conduct random visits to health facilities to monitor their compliance. They also schedule an inspection if a complaint has been filed in the Ministry’s portal. Violators are slapped with fines based on the provisions of the existing health regulations. According to the Ministry, the temporary closure provides erring establishments with an opportunity to take the necessary corrective actions. The inspection teams will visit the violators anew to check their compliance.
The Ministry took the opportunity to hail the companies that adhere to health laws and regulations, since the ministry pays great attention to the remarks of patients and their families, in order to promote and safeguard community health.