Three medical colleges planned in Dubai

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Three medical colleges planned in Dubai

Healthcare needs to grow in 10 years; DHA plans to nurture homegrown talent

By Asma Ali Zain - Deputy Chief Reporter

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Published: Thu 29 Jan 2015, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:32 PM

The Sanitag RTLS pavilion at the Arab Health Congress at DWTC. — KT photo by Shihab 

Dubai: At least 8,000 new beds and thousands of new medical staff will be needed in Dubai over the next 10 years to meet the growing healthcare needs of the emirate.

Job vacancies for at least 7,323 doctors and 8,510 more nurses will open up until 2025 as the emirate expands. An additional 4,500 general practitioners and 550 anesthetists will also be required.

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) also plans to nurture homegrown talent by focusing on increasing the number of medical colleges and local nursing institutes. At least three medical colleges, five nursing schools and a robust residency programme are planned.

Announcing the clinical services capacity plan for 2025 at the Arab Health conference on Wednesday, DHA said it was working on assessing the projections for 18 new medical specialties in the emirate for the coming years.

The plan is based on a detailed study undertaken by the authority, said Essa Al Maidoor, Director General of DHA. The results of the study specify demand for both healthcare services and physicians from 2015 until 2025.

He said that results indicate that introduction of mandatory health insurance in Dubai as well as the emirate’s urbanisation has created opportunities for investment in the health sector to meet the growing demand for primary and specialised health services.“It is the first in-depth study on clinical services capacity in the UAE and GCC countries. The results of the study will help develop a robust health as the authority will base its plans on evidence-based data such as existing gaps and demand of health services in Dubai,” said Al Maidoor.

The results show the need for a large number of healthcare facilities in the new population clusters such as Region No. 5 which includes Jebel Ali, Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the new Al Maktoum Airport.

“It also shows that there is a saturation of health services in Region No 3 which comprises Jumeirah and its surrounding areas; this means we need to limit issuing new licenses in these areas until the need arises again in the future,” he explained.

Salary for nurses

The DHA is planning to increase salaries of nurses to attract more talent while plans in the pipeline also include establishing five nursing schools in Dubai by 2025. The authority will adopt a flexible shifts policy (part-time and day-time hours) for national nurses so as to attract nationals and expatriate communities residing in Dubai to join the nursing profession.

It will work with the private sector to train nursing students in private hospitals eligible for training in Dubai, and the adoption of nursing assistants in Dubai (two-years’ diploma) to fill part of the gap quickly and at a lower cost.

“The most important recommendation first is to establish three new medical colleges in Dubai by 2025. These three colleges are required in addition to the University of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid for Medicine and Health Sciences which will begin to receive the first batch of medical students in September 2015.”

The DHA will link the residency programme as well as send UAE physicians for post-graduate degrees in disciplines that are in short supply so that the gaps can be filled by 2025.

Engineer Salah Al Marri, Director of Corporate Excellence Department at the DHA said: “The study is a Dubai-wide study and we have surveyed all healthcare facilities in Dubai including those of DHA, the Dubai Healthcare City, the Ministry of Health, private sector and free zones health facilities in Dubai.”

 “Several important parameters were taken into consideration. Dubai’s health services, residential sectors, visitors that utilise Dubai’s health services, requirements of Expo 2020, requirements of Dubai Medical Tourism Strategy, and even the requirements of the increasing number of expatriates in the age group 60 years and above in Dubai.”

“We have highlighted the need to increase the efficiency of bed utilisation, to rely more on the day surgeries/day-care and all other technologies that reduce the need for hospital beds, all these factors are essential to cope with population growth and demand of health services.”

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