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Minister promises changes to medical board exam

By Renad Aljadid - Nov 04,2018 - Last updated at Nov 04,2018

AMMAN — Health Minister Ghazi Zaben, on Saturday conceded to some of the demands of resident doctors and doctors with foreign certificates, who said the minister’s pledges “were as hoped”, and would serve the general interest of both doctors and patients.

Earlier in September, specialised board-eligible doctors (medical residents who finished their training without passing the board exam) staged a sit-in in front of the Jordanian Medical Council to protest serving as specialists in hospitals without the privileges of proper recognition, as they were under the status of “general practitioners” at the Health Ministry.

Holders of medical certificates from abroad who had completed their residency also joined the sit-in to demand the application of the laws prior to 2001 for doctors who joined specialisations before December 13, 2001, in order to ensure the recognition of their training.

Zaben, on Saturday said that the ministry would begin the necessary legal measures to offer board eligible doctors with a job title, which would allow them to practice their specialisations legally. 

The minister also promised to respond to the demands of resident doctors with foreign certificates, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The protestors also demanded changes to the Jordanian medical board exam, which Rami Abu Rumman, head of the association of qualified residents and training specialists, described as “excessively difficult”.

“We demanded a fair and reasonable exam that is in line with what the doctors have studied and in line with what they actually need in practice, not questions just to incapacitate doctors,” Abu Rumman told The Jordan Times.

The minister responded to the exam issue and pledged to take into consideration the suggestions of the protestors, adding that a question bank for the test might solve the issue, Petra added.

“The exam will now be designed using a question bank to ensure a fair and balanced level of difficulty, and to avoid setting exams according to the committee’s moods,” Jordan Medical Association President Ali Abous told The Jordan Times, adding that the exam committee would be changed every four years to ensure transparency. 

Abous added that the changes would affect over 650 doctors in the Health Ministry and over 1000 doctors in the general medical sector.

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