For the first time ever, the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) certifies physicians from the Philippines as eligible for the “specialist” title within that country’s healthcare system. The recently updated Approved Specialty Qualifications List for Physicians issued by the Qatar Ministry of Public Health acknowledges the specialization training that Filipino doctors undergo in their own country to make them eligible as specialists in Qatar.

This encompasses all Filipino doctors who are diplomates of Philippine Specialty Boards, having completed their post-qualification degrees and required three years work experience, unless otherwise specified.

The inclusion of Filipino doctors in the list which was released last April 2017 was the result of a successful January 2017 meeting in Doha of top health officials of both nations led by Qatar’s Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari and Philippine Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial. Also present at the landmark meeting in were Director Maylene Beltran, of the DOH’s Bureau of International Health Cooperation and Dr. Jose Tiongco, chief executive of the Medical Mission Group (MMG) Hospitals and Health Services Cooperative of the Philippines.

The meeting, which was organized by the Philippine Business Council (PBC), included discussions on the plan of the MMG to establish a Filipino hospital and polyclinic in Qatar in partnership with Qatari investors. The equivalency of qualifications now awarded to duly qualified Filipino doctors is an important step towards setting up these new healthcare facilities. The discussion on equivalency of physician qualifications was spearheaded in 2015 by the Filipino Medical Association in Qatar with the support and endorsement of the Philippines embassy.

Philippine Business Council officials in Qatar noted that the recognition of Filipino medical specialists by the Qatar Ministry of Health reinforces the acknowledged competency of Filipino health professionals in that country, thereby bolstering the number of qualified doctors addressing the healthcare needs of that nation’s people.

The State of Qatar is among the countries in the Middle East in which a considerable number of Filipino doctors are practicing their profession.

“This is indeed a significant milestone not only for the health sector but for the Philippines as a nation, providing competent Filipino medical specialists to the outside world such as Qatar. This accolade to our very own doctors signifies partnership of two countries to move forward in the quest to raise quality healthcare to a new level. I am deeply honored and very proud with this achievement and I want to extend the gratitude and appreciation of the Philippine government and all Filipinos to the Government of Qatar for its support and assistance to our health and development goals,” Secretary Ubial concluded.