His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) recently held a brainstorming session with the DHA’s medical education department to device a roadmap to ensure Dubai becomes an academic health centre and research hub.
In a brainstorming session that lasted several hours, Al Maidoor and the medical education team discussed ways of expanding the role of medical education in the Emirate to ensure a continuous supply of a greater number of medical education providers.
Al Maidoor discussed four important aspects of medical education- undergraduate education, post-graduate education, continuous medical education and health research- and chalked out several action points as well as instructed the department to device a comprehensive plan to ensure the objectives of the meeting are met.
Al Maidoor said: ” I have always believed in the importance of human resources, which is the lifeline of the health sector. Developing a continuous supply of highly qualified medical professionals as well as promoting health research will positively impact the growth of the health sector in Dubai. It will lead to better patient outcomes and excellence in health services.”
He highlighted the need to work with all concerned stakeholders including the private sector and said that further collaborative efforts are needed to provide investors with a suitable environment to establish academic institutions in all fields of healthcare in Dubai. ” In addition to sending graduate doctors abroad for specializations that are not presently available in the UAE, we are keen on promoting reputable universities to set up their branches in Dubai as well.”
Specifically talking about the field of undergraduate education, he said that DHA hospitals currently provide academic programs to medical graduates and this opportunity needs to be further expanded so that they can get hands-on training.
He also said that DHA will focus on sponsoring high school graduates to ensure a continuous supply of local doctors and aligned health professionals.
In terms of post-graduate education, he said, ” There is a need to further enhance our current local residency programs and to ensure that we build a centre of excellence in each specialty. For international programs, we will sign more agreements with our international partners to enhance overseas scholarships for education programs that are presently unavailable in the UAE.”
In addition to undergraduate and post-graduate medical education, Al Maidoor said the DHA will also expand its internal scholarship programs to provide clinical and administration staff within the DHA with an opportunity to seek further managerial specializations.
He also said that as part of the Authority’s corporate social responsibility, DHA will expand its basic life support courses to include public organizations, non-governmental organisations(NGOs) and residents.
Al Maidoor instructed the medical education department to ensure they provide a full spectrum of education services from training to need analysis and return on investment measurement. “Human capital is essential for the vitality and growth of the sector and it’s important to be able to assess needs in the field of training and education as well as the measure output. A doctor puts in roughly 8 years to complete his education, therefore it’s essential to map out the fields of medicine where we need further specializations.”
He also discussed the importance of enhancing and legalizing health research and community studies in partnership with national and international partners
He instructed the department to chalk out a comprehensive plan on how to achieve these objectives and define clear timelines and added that follow-up meetings will be held to oversee the implementation of the plan.