By Sam Bridge
Ministry of Health and Prevention announces intention to launch the biggest national program for integrating mental health in all the UAE's primary health care centres
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced its intention to launch the biggest national program for integrating mental health in all the UAE’s primary health care centres.
The new program features the provision of community mental health services to reduce the hazards of relapse, enhance social, psychological and occupational empowerment of the psychiatric patient, and to deal with mental health disorders in primary health care centees, in addition to providing specialised psychiatric units.
The program aims to prevent and combat the most prevalent mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety by adopting healthy lifestyles and providing early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, providing mental illness services and promoting awareness in society about mental health disorders, a statement said.
The announcement came during Arab Health, which was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre this week.
“Launching this program underlines MoHAP’s keenness to launch innovative health services and qualitative initiatives at the beginning of the year of preparing for the next 50 years, to place the UAE as a prestigious global hub for medicine, science, and leading healthcare,” said Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics.
Al-Rand highlighted the importance of mental health as an integral part of the primary care, explaining that MoHAP is training doctors and establishing global partnerships with various parties concerned with the implementation of rehabilitation programs.
“MoHAP has launched a number of mental health-related initiatives to improve the services of this health sector in line with the unified national mental health policy and ensure the rights of patients with mental illness, through the implementation of highest international standards and systems,” he added.
Dr Aisha Suhail, director of Primary Health Care Department, said: “This program aims to provide mental health services in all primary health care centres, provide community mental health services, rehabilitation of the medical staff in the mental health field, strengthen prevention and early detection programs for mental disorders, and to constantly provide psychiatric drugs in primary care centres.”
MoHAP has previously launched a program to integrate 39 primary health care centres into the mental health program from 2015 until the end of 2017.