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Table 2 Framework of strategy for the licensing system for health care professionals

From: The evolution of the national licensing system of health care professionals: a qualitative descriptive case study in Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Goal Health care professionals meet the professional standards required for licensing and registration as a health care professional in their respective discipline leading to improved health services and better health outcomes.
Objective Strengthening and implementing the regulatory framework and mechanism for licensing and registration of the health care professionals under the responsibility of the Healthcare Professional Council.
Strategy (1) Strengthen organizational capacity of the Healthcare Professional Council. (2) Develop the legal and regulatory framework for the licensing and registration system for health care professionals. (3) Implement national licensure examination for health care professionals. (4) Formulate standard and procedures for issuing professional license and registering health care professionals. (5) Develop a system for implementing continuing professional development (CPD) that meets the requirements for renewal of registration of health care professionals. (6) Develop the information management system for licensing and registration of health care professionals and strengthen public communication.
Priority actions 1-1. Appoint the President, Vice President, and members of the Healthcare Professional Council and its professional Boards. 1-2. Revise the regulation of Healthcare Professional Council No:033-MOH Date 24 January 2007 (including its TOR, authority, and accountability). 1-3. Identify and provide required technical and training support for operating licensing and registration system for health care professional 1-4. Develop financial management system for operating the licensing system and registration for health care professional and identify funding sources and partnerships to ensure sufficient resources as may be required. 2-1. Establish committees and working groups to review, revise, and develop the legal and regulatory framework for the licensing and registration system in line with relevant legislations. 2-2. Make plan to implement the approved legal and regulatory framework for licensing and registration system for health care professionals 2-3. Disseminate and advocate the enacted legal and regulatory framework to promote the implementation of the licensing and registration system for health care professionals nationwide. 3-1. Set up National Examination Committees for all categories of health care professionals. 3-2. To formulate outline of the National Examination to certify competency for initial license, including the scope of examination, subjects and topics to be included, frequency of examinations, types of test (MCQ, OSCE, etc.), method of test (paper, computer-based, etc.), and the criteria passing score or rate. 3-3. Develop table of specification (blueprint) for each examination and design and pilot test with samples of target groups. 3-4. Manage the implementation of the national licensing examinations to certify competency for initial license in cooperation with the educational institutions with particular attention to the timing of the examination, the required logistic and supervision support, and the announcement of the test results. 4-1. Determine the process and standard for issuing professional licenses and registering to new graduates who graduated in Laos and foreign country, practicing health care professionals, and foreigner who is willing to work in Laos PDR. 4-2. Develop the process and standard for issuing professional licenses and registering guidelines and provide training for officers in charge of the administration of issuing license and registration of health care professionals. 4-3. Trial the procedures for issuing professional license and make necessary adjustments to ensure efficient and transparent application. 4-4. Manage the licensing and registration system according to the approved procedures and operating guidelines. 5-1. Determine the CPD requirements for renewal of registration including the type of learning activities and the number of credit points required within 5 years of registration. 5-2. Identify institutions and other groups which are providing CPD and explore what they could offer currently and in the future and the support they may require to optimize their contribution. 5-3. Develop criteria and standard for approval of CPD activities for renewal of registration. 5-4. Estimate the cost of implementation of CPD activities and define financial sources. 5-5. Make contract with approved institutions and health facilities for delivery of CPD activities and determine procedure for monitoring and evaluation. 5-6. Manage the renewal of registration according to the approved procedures and operating guidelines. 6-1. Develop and manage the national registry (database) for licensed health care professional. 6-2. Explore ways of integrating and/or linking the national registry (database) for licensed health care professional with existing health personnel and training databases maintained by the Department of Health Personnel and the Department of Training and Research to avoid unnecessary duplication and promote accurate and efficient information system. 6-3. Compile and disseminate annual reports, including statistics concerning the licensing and registration of health care professionals. 6-4. Disseminate and advocate information concerning licensing and registration through multimedia sources. 6-5. Monitor and evaluate the level of awareness and understanding concerning the licensing and registration system and take steps to address identified gaps to ensure better understanding.
Target by 2020 Organizational structure of the Healthcare Professional Council is clearly defined including TOR of all divisions and professional boards. Professional Boards for medical doctor, dentist, and nurse are established under the authority of the Healthcare Professional Council. Financial management system for operating the licensing system is established. Office of the Healthcare Professional Council is equipped with necessary equipment and facilities. Orientation and training is provided to the leadership and members of the Healthcare Professional Council. Approved legal and regulatory framework for implementing the licensing and registration system for medical doctor, dentist, and nurse is implemented. Dissemination and advocacy workshops and other activities to promote the legal and regulatory framework are implemented in the central and provincial levels. Document describing the procedures and mechanism is available and administration of licensing exams are in place. National licensing examination to certify competency for initial license is implemented for medical doctor, dentist, and nurse. Completed issue of health care professional license for more than 80% of medical doctor, dentist, and nurse who work as clinical practitioners in private health care facilities. Completed issuing health care professional license for more than 60% of medical doctor, dentist, and nurse who work as a clinical practitioner in the governmental health care facilities. Completed issuing the health care professional license for more than 90% of foreign medical doctor, dentist, and nurse who work as a clinical practitioner in the private and public health care facilities (Practitioners with valid license of their country of origin). Completed 100% for issuing the temporary license for relevant foreign health care practitioners in private and public health facilities. CPD trainings for medical doctor, dentist, and nurse are developed and approved by the Healthcare Professional Council. CPD trainings for medical doctor, dentist, and nurse are implemented under the guidance of the Healthcare Professional Council. The national registry (database) for licensed health care professional is developed and operational multi-media communication tools for licensing and registration system are developed and applied. (website, poster, handbook, etc.).
Target by 2025 All other professional boards are established by the Healthcare Professional Council. Approved legal and regulatory framework for implementing the licensing and registration system for all health care professionals are implemented. Dissemination and advocacy workshops and other activities to promote the legal and regulatory framework are implemented in the central and provincial levels. Revised document describing the procedures and mechanism is available and administration of licensing exams is in place for all categories of health care professionals. National licensing examination is implemented for all categories of health care professionals. Completed issuing the health care professional license for 90% of health care professionals who work as a clinical practitioner in the private health care facility. Completed issuing the health care professional license for 80% of health care professionals who work as a clinical practitioner in the governmental health care facilities. CPD activities for all categories of health professionals are developed and approved by the Healthcare Professional Council CPD activities for all categories of health care professionals are implemented under the guidance of the Healthcare Professional Council. Registration renewal is started for health care professionals who meet the criteria. An annual statistics report on health care professionals is published and disseminated