UAE: These medics are working on Eid Al Fitr so we can celebrate

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on May 12, 2021
Supplied photo

Dr Ahmed Abdullatif, general practitioner at Prime Hospital, Dr Abdullatif will be stationed at the Emergency Room (ER) from 6am to 6pm.

While most residents will be spending Eid Al Fitr with their loved ones at home or by connecting with their friends and family virtually, one lot will be having a sombre festival as they will be busy tending to the sick.

Khaleej Times speaks to some frontline doctors, who gave up their Eid celebrations to perform their crucial roles at their respective hospitals, wearing their PPEs (instead of Eid wear), ensuring the sick are treated without delay.

Dr Ahmed Abdullatif, general practitioner at Prime Hospital, Dr Abdullatif will be stationed at the Emergency Room (ER) from 6am to 6pm. Being in the ER, the Egyptian doctor said he shoulders a big responsibility, and he doesn’t let anything come in the way of his work as he believes serving humanity is also an important duty.

“My father is also an emergency doctor and I have grown up seeing how he gives priority to his work over everything. He has been my inspiration and seeing him I know that being an emergency doctor, we do not have the luxury of getting regular offs or holidays on festivals. The word emergency itself means that it cannot be delayed at any cost. I am glad my father knows how and what it is so it was not difficult to make him understand why I have to be at work on Eid.”

The doctor who has been serving in the UAE’s healthcare sector for around 15 years, said he is not at all upset at not being able to mark Eid with family and friends normally as he has a higher aim of seeing to it that people are healthy so they can be with their loved ones again. “ This thought of helping the sick recover gives me comfort and helps me fulfill my duties as a doctor more efficiently. My Eid is about helping others and not just focusing on myself,” he said.

When asked about his Eid plans, Dr Abdullatif said he would be reaching home after 6pm and is looking forward to a quiet dinner with his father and later with a couple of friends.

Dr. Maisaa Al Sulaiman, specialist family medicine, Burjeel Speciality Hospital , Sharjah

Dr Al Sulaiman has been a practicing doctor in the UAE for over a decade and has spent most of her Eids on duty. The lady of the house will be leaving her husband and four children at home as she heads to serve her patients in the afternoon.

“It is very a tough decision to be working on Eid when you have a family at home, but this is a pledge I took when I became a doctor that duty towards humanity will always come first. For me, my patients and my whole healthcare fraternity are like my family and I have a certain sense of responsibility towards them too. Come rain or shine, we healthcare professionals have to be ready to sacrifice our personal time to serve the community, which is what I will be doing,” Dr Sulaiman, who hails from Syria, told Khaleej Times.

Ensuring both her fronts, home and work, do not suffer during Eid, Dr Sulaiman said she will be spending the Eid morning with her children and husband, and will be making as well as ordering some sweets and food from outside to mark the occasion.

“It is a bit difficult to make my children understand that I will be working on Eid but they have seen how difficult the last year has been with the Covid pandemic around and I have explained to them that their mother is needed in easing the pain of the community. My husband and children have been very supportive and they have always worked their plans around my schedule so this Eid too, we will order some nice dinner at home after I get back from work,” she added.

“I wish everyone a happy and safe Eid and I want to reassure all UAE residents that we doctors will continue to offer our services in the best possible way, all we want people to do is to adhere to the safety measures so we can get rid of the Covid pandemic soon,” she said.

Dr Imtiaz Mohammed Khan , general practitioner at the Emergency Department at Aster Cedars Hospital

Gearing up to get on his 12 hour shift at the emergency room, Dr Imtiaz Mohammed Khan , general practitioner at the Emergency Department at Aster Cedars Hospital called it a privilege to be able to serve people during public holidays and festive season.

“ Medical emergencies can happen any time, it doesn’t matter if it is day time or night time. And when it happens, it doesn’t matter if it is a holiday or any festival, what matters is receiving the much needed help. And if I can be that doctor who can help any person who rushes to the ER in a stressful situation, then it is an honour for me to be able to help my fellowmen. Being present for people when they need you the most, this very thought motivates me to not worry about any holidays or festivals, for me every human life matters the most,” Dr Imtiaz said.

Dr Imtiaz said the ER of team of any hospital has to follow a set schedule of duty hours which must be followed at all times.

“When we are part of the ER team, we have to go according to the schedule laid out for us. We cannot think of being part of any festivals or holidays because we are the ER team and our service is required 24X7. Although Eid is my biggest festival but I will mark it at the hospital, comforting my patients,”

Talking about Eid plans, Dr Imtiaz said, he will be connecting to his family and friends online once he gets done with his 12 hour duty shift at 8pm in the night. “On the occasion of Eid, I want to give a message of hope to all. I believe that we need to stay strong and carry on. Although these sacrifices look big and definitely it is tough to be away from our families on such festive occasions but our efforts wont go waste. I feel it will all pay off in every respect and we will emerge victorious,” Dr Imtiaz concluded.

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