UAE: Increase in salary, benefits recommended for mental health workers

The total number of medical professionals in the field have steadily increased since 2019



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 8 May 2022, 12:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 8 May 2022, 4:09 PM

A Federal National Council (FNC) report has recommended an increase in the salaries and work benefits for mental health workers in the country to attract more Emiratis to this specialised field.

The report on the policy of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) regarding the promotion of mental health in the UAE included several recommendations that the FNC members recently adopted. The council intends to refer these recommendations to the government during their next meeting so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Other key measures recommended by members include the need to develop training and rehabilitation programs for national cadres specialising in the field of psychiatry, with a focus on specialised competencies treating children and people of determination and establishing partnerships with educational institutions and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Emirates Foundation for Health Services confirmed that it has succeeded in providing and attracting specialised cadres in the mental health sector, despite their global shortage. Officials explained the total number of medical professionals specialised in the field of mental health working with them had reached 371 specialists.

The foundation had also presented a report to members of the Federal National Council, confirming that multidisciplinary mental health professionals had expanded by 47 per cent between 2019-2021, with a total of 5,461 employees.

Emirates Foundation for Health Services also said it had adopted several partnerships with health authorities, governmental and private educational institutions, and leading international hospitals to develop the skills of workers in mental, social and rehabilitative health. It also signed agreements and memoranda of understanding with universities and international health institutions, in addition to partnerships with educational institutions and leading hospitals in the USA, Canada, Britain and several European countries.

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The foundation also pointed out that it has sent many clinical psychologists to develop their skills through a professional development program, such as training in the use of assessment tools for mental disorders and their cognitive behavioural therapy techniques.

The number of mental health training programs for the institution’s facilities reached about 112, benefiting 30,492 employees and trainees. Part of their strategy was to develop medical and technical cadres, and build partnerships, especially with health institutions and bodies and relevant authorities, to support the country’s endeavours towards achieving global competitiveness in mental health, according to officials from the foundation.

Last month, Naema Abdullah Al Sharhan, the second deputy speaker of the FNC and Chairperson of the FNC Committee on Health and Environmental Affairs, read out a report to the members highlighting the difficulty in diagnosing mental disorders among children due to lack of psychiatric clinics designated for them.

The report also said many psychiatric patients don’t complete their treatment due to the lack of health insurance coverage for the mental illness treatment services. This also leads to patients and their families bearing the high cost of treatment.

- ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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