Be proactive in offering world-class health education: MoE

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds


THE Minister of Education yesterday called on Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) to be proactive and explore innovative ways to provide world class health education in all major health fields.

Speaking at the opening of the Ninth Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Medical Science Conference 2015, the minister said as the Sultanate is progressing rapidly to build its human capacity and infrastructure in healthcare education, it cannot be forever reliant on overseas institutions for providing education to local healthcare professionals.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong said this is because any change in health education policy could have a significant impact on the future healthcare workforce, healthcare delivery to the community and its sustainability.

“Let us think out of the box and be proactive for change. It is time to accept change and demonstrate an ability to build a responsive and flexible nation,’’ the minister said.

YB Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar said UBD’s vision to be top 50 in Asia means sharpening its research focus.

He said today’s health research findings will serve as the evidence-base to guide tomorrow’s policies, practices and research in education and healthcare fields.

The minister said for example, evidence from relevant research can help improve healthcare systems, advance the understanding of the casual and risk factors of diseases and upgrade medical and allied health professional education.

As UBD has undertaken health research over the years, the minister reminded not to work in silos within the health sector, but also collaborate with other scientists, social scientists and researchers in other areas like engineering.

“This opportunity of transdisciplinary research should be fully utilised and one should take advantage of the country’s niche areas and unique richness in biodiversity, envied natural resources and incredibly high technology sectors,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, YB Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar said he was pleased that UBD has developed health education programmes from Certificate to the Doctorate levels, and has been conducting a robust continuing professional development programme.

He lauded them for pursuing this with relevant stakeholders, so that local, regional and international needs, as well as professional benchmarks are met.

However, he reminded UBD not to be complacent with these achievements and look further in developing other potential health education programmes which are crucial to Brunei’s healthcare delivery.

“I also urge a holistic approach in nurturing students with the necessary skill sets demanded in this profession, such as communication skills. This is crucial to prepare students for the real life environment in healthcare delivery,’’ he said.

Speaking on the conference, themed, “Transdisciplinary approach in healthcare research’’, the minister said apart from addressing infectious diseases like Ebola and dengue outbreaks, as well as non-communicable diseases like diabetes, stroke and cancer, it will also address Islamic perspectives in healthcare, global healthcare research and medical education.

“I hope this conference will provide a platform to bring together prominent professionals from different disciplines in healthcare to share knowledge, learn and create research possibilities in Brunei as we are part of a world that develops knowledge society,’’ he said.

Present at the opening of the conference at UBD’s PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, in which the minister was guest of honour, were Deputy Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail; UBD Vice Chancellor and the education ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi; Ambassador of Indonesia to Brunei, Nurul Qomar; High Commissioners, academics and participants.

The Brunei Times