Private dieticians and dietary centres in Qatar told to have proper licences by the end of the year

August 15, 2010
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All private dieticians and dietary centres in Qatar have been told that they need to have proper licences by the end of this year.

A rapid rise in the number of such facilities has apparently prompted the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) to lay down regulations to ensure that they meet the required health and safety standards, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Sunday.

The high prevalence of diabetes and obesity has been cited as the major factor that has pushed up demand for dieticians in the country.

Feeling an urgent need to monitor facilities and practitioners, the SCH said that a new policy had been adopted, a senior official of the Medical Licensing Department (MLD) said.

All “clinical dieticians” and “dietician technicians” working in the private sector now must now obtain a licence from the SCH.

Clinical dieticians provide nutrition therapy to patients according to the disease they are suffering, do dietary consultation for patients and their family members or conduct educational programmes for other health workers, patients and the public.

A bachelor’s degree in dietetics (which involves a minimum of four years of study) or a bachelor of science degree and a postgraduate diploma in dietetics, or a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in dietetics, two years of clinical practice and a professional licence from the home country are required for a clinical dietician.

Under direct supervision of a registered clinical dietician (CD), a dietetic technician (DT) may assist in the nutrition assessment, implementation and monitoring of medical nutrition therapy services provided by the clinical dietician.

A dietetic technician cannot develop nutritional or dietary therapy or treatments, or accept or transmit verbal orders.

A dietetic technician must have completed at least a two-year associate’s degree in dietetics or a related discipline, or a dietetic technician’s programme (minimum 18 months) approved by the MLD. The applicant should also have 12 months of clinical experience and a professional licence from the home country.

Side bar:

A clinical dietician or dietetic technician is not permitted to practice in any facility in Qatar, unless the following conditions set by SCH are fulfilled:

* The Medical Licensing Department should approve the location of the facility upon its opening.

* The facility should not be attached, directly or indirectly, to any other shop or place of residence. It should be at the ground or first floor of the building and it may be in higher floors if the building is equipped with an elevator.

* The facility should have two separate waiting rooms for men and women, other than the examination room, each of a size not less than 12 m. The floor should be covered with fixed vinyl taking into consideration general hygiene conditions. The facility should contain appropriate toilets for male and female visitors.

* The facility should have good lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation in all rooms. It should not be used as a residence and patients should not be allowed to sleep in it.

* All dietary clinics must be equipped with a blood pressure monitor, blood glucose meter, weight scale, fire extinguisher and wash basin. Such facilities are not allowed to do medical tests nor can medications be prescribed by dieticians or technicians.

* It is strictly prohibited for any facility to operate without having a licensed clinical dietician.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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