International College of Surgeons’ regional body planned in UAE

DUBAI — The UAE National Section of the International College of Surgeons is working to establish the MENA Federation of the college in the country by next year, the section’s president, Dr Ali Al Numairy, told Khaleej Times recently.

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Published: Sat 20 Nov 2010, 12:42 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:04 PM

The International College of Surgeons (ICS) is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing together surgeons and surgical specialists and to foster fellowship worldwide. The ICS was founded in 1935 in Geneva by Max Thorek, a Hungary-born surgeon.

Dr Numairy said Thorek’s decision to set up the ICS has an interesting story behind it. His Hungarian degree was not recognised by the Swiss authorities when he moved to Switzerland. It was again not recognised by the US and UK authorities when he moved there. He had to get a fresh degree in the three countries to be able to practise there.

He, therefore, decided to set up an international organisation that would unify the certification of surgeons and accept them as its fellows. The ICS headquarters has since moved to the US. The ICS has approximately 8,000 general surgeons and surgical specialists from over 112 countries and regions. Members are organised into 67 national or regional sections. The sections are grouped into federations.

The ICS has six federations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Pacific region. There is no federation for the MENA region yet, Dr Numairy said.

The Gulf region has two national sections, one in the UAE and the other in Kuwait. The UAE National Section was established in 2009 following meetings of surgeons working in the UAE with different specialties. The meetings were held under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association. They were followed by election of the National Section officers. Dr Numairy was elected the president of ICSUAE National Section, Dr Faruq M. Badiuddin vice-president, Dr Thair M. Abbas general secretary, and Dr Basim AI Khafaji treasurer.

In addition to educational activities, the UAE National Section verifies the credentials of the surgeons submitting applications for the ICS fellowship and sends them to the headquarters for final approval.

The number of ICS fellows in the UAE Section has increased from 50 in 2009 to 70 this year, he said. The section held its first scientific activity, a symposium on Complications in Surgery, in Ras Al Khaimah this year.

Dr Numairy said the MENA Federation would include National Sections in Egypt, Kuwait, the UAE and Iran and fellows from several countries in the region. “We are working with fellows in the region to form national sections. We will then invite the presidents of the national sections to run in the elections to the board of representatives and communicate with the ICS headquarters to officially establish the MENA Federation in the UAE,” Dr Numairy said.

“We are confident that the MENA Federation would be established before the World Congress of Surgery in November 2011,” he said. He is representing the UAE at the World Congress of Surgery 2010 being held in Manila from today to November 22.

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