UAE Healthcare System: Successive Achievements
- 11 September 2020
The UAE has achieved qualitative leaps in the field of healthcare, acting with a high level of competency and efficiency to address a range of emerging health challenges. These successive achievements have enabled the UAE to establish world-class standards in the field of healthcare, according to international experts and the World Health Organization (WHO). Within the context of the UAE’s efforts to address challenges in the system of community health and disease prevention, the UAE cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (may God protect him), this week approved the National Policy on Vaccinations in the UAE.
It is a multi-sectoral national framework to enhance the system of community health and disease prevention by combating communicable diseases and reducing the risk they pose to individuals and society. His Highness said that, “Preparing for the post-COVID-19 era means preparing for a new future that no one could have predicted until a few months ago. Education, healthcare, government work, investment, commerce and our digital infrastructure will all witness new developments to cope with a future filled with various opportunities.” His Highness further added that, “a whole new world is waiting for us, and this new world needs new tools and new priorities. Our country will be ready, and we will recover very soon”.
This policy supports the UAE’s healthcare system and enhances the efficiency of the services it provides. The policy aims to engage the non-governmental sector and wider society in developing the healthcare system to ensure greater control over communicable diseases, so as to better protect the public in the UAE. It also aims to promote healthy lifestyles alongside efforts to curb communicable diseases and provide comprehensive healthcare services of the highest quality nationwide. The policy will further boost the country’s position as a regional and international healthcare hub and raise its global competitiveness. It will also enhance community health and help develop a comprehensive and sustainable healthcare system, while providing the best quality immunization services according to global and national safety best practices.
Community disease prevention and protection requires a rapid outbreak response to prevent their spread and minimize the impact on public health. These are the steps taken by the UAE to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE has adopted a number of measures to enhance awareness of health and safety among individuals and society as a whole, supported by various government institutions. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) compiled a guide for a multitude of e-commerce applications in the UAE through which individuals can maintain social distancing when purchasing groceries, medicine and food online. Furthermore, medical screening has been intensified through community initiatives launched by individuals and the private sector, such as the establishment of the ‘Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity’. It receives contribution in cash and in kind as well as logistical support from individuals and organizations. In addition, the Authority for Social Contribution – Ma’an in Abu Dhabi set up a local community program called ‘Together We Are Good’.
The National Agenda 2021, contained within the ‘UAE Vision 2021’ plan, aims to create a world-class healthcare system, and these latest achievements are a reflection of that ambition. The government will work in collaboration with all healthcare authorities in the country to have all public and private hospitals accredited, according to clear national and international quality standards of medical services and staff. Furthermore, the National Agenda 2021 emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine and seeks to reduce cancer and lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to ensure a longer, healthier life for citizens. In addition, the Agenda aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking and increase the healthcare system’s readiness to deal with epidemics and health risks. This will result in the UAE’s healthcare quality being among the best in the world by 2021.
The UAE’s efforts to combat diseases and pandemics are ongoing. The greatest priority right now is the coronavirus pandemic. It has underscored the necessity of the public to exercise precautions, commitment and solidarity with the government. We must adopt a sense of individual and communal responsibility by adhering to regulations and agreed measures, such as keeping a safe distance, wearing facemasks, washing and sanitizing hands, and avoiding unnecessary gatherings. In this way, we can contribute to government initiatives and ensure the safety of society.