Dubai announces 3-month permit for visiting medics to practice in UAE

It enables healthcare facilities in the emirate to fulfil their demand for healthcare professionals

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Angel Tesorero

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KT photo: Angel Tesorero
KT photo: Angel Tesorero

Published: Wed 31 Jan 2024, 3:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 31 Jan 2024, 10:39 PM

Dubai has launched a short-term three-month ‘permit to practice’ to allow visiting medical professionals to practice in the UAE for three months, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced on Wednesday, at the ongoing Arab Health Congress 2024.

DHA said the initiative “plays a proactive role in equipping the local healthcare sector to handle emergencies, disasters, and crises."

The temporary permit, aimed at establishing a flexible work environment for visiting medical professionals, will enable healthcare facilities in the emirate to fulfil their demand for healthcare professionals and access medical expertise in specialised fields, DHA added.

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Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of the DHA’s Health Regulation Sector, however, noted “securing a permit does not automatically guarantee obtaining a professional licence within the same field at a later stage. The attainment of a professional license in a particular field is contingent upon meeting all specific requirements as outlined in the Unified Professional Qualification Guide.”

How to apply for the permit

DHA said local healthcare facilities “need to apply for the permit if they wish to bring international medical expertise to the country for a short period of time.” This means, non-UAE resident professionals will not be able to directly apply for the service.”

Dr Al Mulla said the application process is “simple and can be acquired within a day” through the electronic system 'Sheryan'. The submission is carried out through the account of the medical director of a licensed healthcare facility and the permit is valid for up to three months.

“This period enables healthcare professionals to work with healthcare facilities, acquaint themselves with the regulations and standards pertaining to practice within the emirate, and undertake the process of applying for a professional licence,” he continued.

Big boost to Dubai's healthcare system

Commenting on the latest DHA initiative, Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany, vice president at Fakeeh Care and CEO at Fakeeh University Hospital – Dubai, told the Khaleej Times: “The short-term ‘permit to practice’ is a very important step in enhancing health care system in the UAE in general and Dubai in particular.

Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany. Photo: Supplied
Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany. Photo: Supplied

“We strongly support this initiative that is very helpful for the health care ecosystem, where we can bring in needed skills for some specialities or crisis management intervention if needed, on a short-term basis,” he noted.

Akbar Moideen Thumbay, vice-president at Thumbay Healthcare, added: “With experts being granted the provision to practice for three months, healthcare facilities can offer advanced surgeries and specialised medical treatments, positioning the UAE as a hub for high-quality healthcare services.

“Beyond the immediate staffing benefits, this initiative also presents an opportunity to ease the burden on diagnostic teams. The availability of skilled professionals on a short-term basis ensures a more efficient and effective diagnostic process, ultimately improving patient care.

Akbar Moideen Thumbay. Photo: Supplied
Akbar Moideen Thumbay. Photo: Supplied

“From an educational perspective, collaborating with renowned medical experts during their short-term practice periods can greatly enhance the clinical training at our teaching hospitals. We look forward to such partnerships, providing valuable real-world experiences for the next generation of healthcare professionals,” Thumbay added.

Dr.  Hussain Al Rahma. Photo: Supplied
Dr. Hussain Al Rahma. Photo: Supplied

The short-term permit will definitely help in closing the gap for the needed sub-specialities in the medical field, particularly in medical tourism, and addressing the needs for different medical schools, underscored Dr. Hussain Al Rahma, chief medical officer at Saudi German Hospitals Group-UAE.

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