07/06/2004

Preparing occupational physicians for their work

Good management of the health of workpeople and workplaces requires the advice
of competent occupational health professionals. For physicians, such training
in occupational medicine should start with tuition at undergraduate level but
various surveys have shown this aspect of their training to be either
inadequate or non-existent. Therefore general practitioners and hospital
doctors are ill equipped to deal with work related health issues seen in their
patients.

A report, Competencies of occupational physicians - The customer's perspective,
therefore has been prepared by The University of Glasgow for EEF and the HSE.
The study reported upon sets out to:


  • establish the priorities of employer and employee representatives regarding
    the competencies they require from occupational physicians;
  • find out what reasons account for variations of the priorities in different
    groups;
  • determine the views of employers and employees on health and work, and the
    level of occupational medical support required;

with a view to making recommendations on the content of occupational medicine
training curricula.

One conclusion reached is that there exists a low level of occupational health
support to British industry, and that there is a need for improved access to
support, including occupational physicians, particularly for small and medium-
sized enterprises.

Occupational physicians can contribute to good management in healthy
enterprises. The requirement to take into account the needs of the customers
when planning occupational health services is well established. The main
objective of this study was to establish the priorities of UK employers,
employees and their representatives regarding the competencies they require
from occupational physicians. This study involved a Delphi survey of employers
and employees from public and private organizations of varying business sizes,
and health and safety specialists as well as trade union representatives
throughout the UK.

Further Information:


AplusA-online.de - Source: Safetynews