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JMA to meet with Health Ministry on regulatory alternatives

Those ‘within profession’ best suited to set licensing regulations — doctors

By Maram Kayed - Jan 12,2019 - Last updated at Jan 12,2019

AMMAN — Medical clinics will no longer be subject to licensing regulations set by municipality boards, according to a recent statement by President of the Jordan Medical Association (JMA) Ali Obous.

In remarks made to The Jordan Times, Obous said the decision stemmed from a consensus among doctors that people “within the profession” are best suited to set regulations for clinics. The current format for licensing was recently suspended as a search alternatives gets under way.  

“Dentists, for example, are required to have machinery in their clinics that no one in the last decade has even used. The regulations are outdated, and someone outside the medical community will not have the time, nor the ability, to stay up-to-date with all the changes in the numerous medical fields,” the JMA’s president added.

Obous said that municipality inspectors were generally on board with the decision, as “inspectors were complaining to the JMA about the difficulty of having to check on machinery and work procedures that they do not have a full understanding of”.

“My colleague and I have two very expensive machines that we cannot sell and do not use, but keep in our clinic when the municipality’s inspector comes in for his regular visits. They would be worth JD5,000 if we were to sell them,” said Elaina Mattila, a Russian dentist who opened a clinic in Amman over 15 years ago.

A meeting with Minister of Health Ghazi Zaben is scheduled for next week, to search for regulatory alternatives, according to Obous. “Leading figures” from the medical community will be present at the meeting, regardless of whether or not they possess JMA membership, he added.

The situation “requires keeping everyone’s suggestions in mind, as having to go through unnecessary procedures is tiresome for all parties, including municipality workers”, Obous said.

Hasan Soheil, a paediatrician, said the current method for setting regulations is continuously changing and frustrating: “We had to move to a bigger office because the municipality said the doctor’s room had to be at least 16sq.m. We lost half our customers because we had to change locations. Two years later, they reversed the requirement.”

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