Ministry seeks international recognition as means to improve on quality, standards

National 2 minutes, 48 seconds


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) is working to get government hospitals and health centres certified by an international accreditation body in the next year or so as a way to improve the quality of services for patient care, the health minister said yesterday.

During the ongoing 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi said that the ministry is hoping to get at least one hospital and two clinics certified by the Joint Commission International (JCI) in the next 12 to 18 months.

JCI is a global organisation that works to improve patient safety and quality of health care.

Currently only one hospital in Brunei - the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) - has received the gold seal of approval from JCI.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, the health minister expressed his hopes in the quality assurance scheme but notes that it will require a lot of hard work.

“It’s a lot of hard work but it means that your hospital, your health centre will be at par with all the leading health centres around the world.

“ It’s an ambitious target, I made a promise in the hall that within the next 12 to 18 months we’re going to have at least one hospital and two health centres we aspire to achieve the JCI status,” he said.

YB Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain said the ministry is targeting three centres to be JCI accredited, which aspires to be the ‘mentor’ for other health centres and hospitals in the sultanate.

“It’s high time we start doing this because it really is for the protection of the public to ensure the continuing improvement of services within health sectors,” the minister said.

He added that this will create a sense of competitiveness amongst the health centres and hospitals in Brunei.

“At the end of the day, it’s not for us (ministry), it’s for our patients, our clients and it’s for their families,” he said.

The health minister also announced yesterday that the ministry has established a project called ‘Project Assalam’ as part of MoH’s initiative to improve its customer experience.

It is being set up to allow hospital visitors to find their way around the building better, he said, adding that MoH has also provided signages and notices.

“To further enhance customer convenience and to avoid visitors from having difficulties in finding their way around the hospitals, we have introduced Project Assalam,” he said. This was in response to Yang Berhormat Hj Jumat Akim who suggested for officers to be assigned at reception counters in hospitals. He also proposed for a database where patients can be registered, to ease visitors in finding patients and relative’s names where they can be further directed to them.

The health minister said that his ministry is working closely with E-Government National Centre in improving their healthcare system, Brunei Darussalam Healthcare Information Management System (Bru-HIMS).

Suggestions from users to help improve Bru-HIMS into a database will be incorporated.

“Currently we are at Bru-HIMS, 1.0, we will proceed to the next phase. Maybe this will be extended into an application which allows them to look for patients even before they arrive.

“But we also need to look at it from a security perspective and also to safeguard patient confidentiality,” he said.

The Brunei Times