EHS launches 'Theqa' programme to boost mental wellbeing of health care providers

"Theqa" programme aims to provide moral and psychological support for this category


DUBAI- The Emirates Health Services (EHS) has launched the "Theqa" programme to support the health care providers (HCPs) who have been traumatised due to their involvement in an unanticipated adverse patient event.

"Theqa" programme aims to provide moral and psychological support for this category, known as the "second victim". This comes as part of the EHS's strategy aimed at improving the quality of life in the workplace, highlighting the importance of psychological and mental health, and spreading a culture of employees' empowerment to achieve intellectual, physical and psychological development.

Developed according to global best practices and scientific evidence, the programme strives to strengthen the rights of health care providers in the said case, through promoting five core pillars: fairness, respect, understanding and empathy, supportive care and transparency.

In order to follow up on the implementation of the programme, the EHS has established a central committee, taking into consideration the importance of supporting the culture of patient safety as its integral part. In addition to developing supporting policies, procedures, instructions, and training for programme coordinators in health facilities, the designated committee will identify the necessary resources and tools to support health care providers in the event of an unanticipated adverse patient event.

The EHS will also work with all the relevant bodies to support the development of the programme and raise the level of awareness about the concept of the second victim.

Commenting on "Theqa" programme, Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director-General of EHS, said that it seeks to take care of the mental health of the medical staff, provide supportive programmes, and train them on stress management, adaptation, and supportive communication. "EHS has prioritised the mental health of its staff in recognition of their extraordinary efforts," he said.

This comes in line with the directives of the wise leadership on the importance and role of the first line of defence and their sacrifices in protecting the health of the UAE community.

"We ensure that all measures are in place to provide psychological support by reviewing their needs and holding periodic workshops to help the medical staff in the front line deal with psychological challenges. The programme aims to promote a culture of patient safety by providing an environment in which workers in our health facilities feel supported to assume their duties in their health institutions," Al Serkal said.

"Recognising the impact of this case on patient care, the EHS has decided to adopt this programme, given the negative impacts of the second victim syndrome on health care providers in the event of an adverse patient event," he added.

Dr. Noor Al Muhairi, Director of the Mental Health Department, EHS said that the programme is now operational at hospitals and health centres and its performance and effectiveness will be evaluated.

She remarked that prior to the launch of the programme, a research study was conducted to evaluate the mental health of the medical staff in the event of an adverse patient event. This is in order to develop scientific reference-based programmes and plans and identify symptoms of some mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychological stress.

Dr. Zakaria Al Attal, Director of Quality Management, EHS, stressed that "Theqa" programme will help the establishment promote world-class quality practices, adding that improving the mental health of medical carder is one of the basic criteria and a requirement for obtaining international accreditation for health facilities.

Therefore, the programme will complete and integrate with a package of procedures and improvements being made by the EHS, to bolster its ongoing efforts to accredit and renew the accreditation of all institutions operating under the umbrella of EHS, and ultimately enhance efficiency and quality health services.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.

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