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Mon 13 Aug 2007 01:26 AM

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UAE health ministry ups regulatory role

Ministry says it will upgrade healthcare facilities and develop rules and regulations governing the sector.

The Ministry of Health has announced details of its 2008-2010 strategic framework, which emphasises the upgrade of healthcare facilities in the UAE.

According to health minister H.E Hamid Al Qatami the ministry will also focus on enhancing its regulatory role, and will strive to raise the level of scientific, technical and administrative personnel.

Plans are in line with UAE Government Strategy recommendations, which highlight healthcare as a prerequisite for sustainable social development, Al Qatami said, adding that all key stakeholders would be involved in the development phase.

Key objectives include unifying healthcare policies across the UAE, ensuring medical services to all UAE Nationals and residents, promoting best international practices, enhancing the country’s capabilities in the field of preventative medicine, combating the spread of infectious diseases, and increasing community awareness of healthcare services.

Al Qatami said: "We seek to transform the ministry from being a service provider to one with more strategic responsibility. The ministry should focus on developing rules and regulations that govern the healthcare sector. Medical services will be the responsibility of the recently launched Emirates Health Authority that will operate independently at both financial and administrative levels."

"The ministry's ultimate objective is to lay the foundation for sustainable development within the healthcare sector which follows international best practices. Building and sustaining the country's medical expertise is high on our agenda. We also eye increasing the UAE Nationals' contribution to this sector by developing second and third generations of medical experts," he explained.

The strategy covers 35 key initiatives to be implemented during the next three years. These include building an electronic network to connect the country's hospitals and healthcare centres, building a medical archiving system and national health database in association with the UAE e-Government, developing a comprehensive training programme for the ministry's staff and completing more than 25 per cent of the tasks before end of 2008.

The ministry will also work on applying a new self management system for public hospitals to grant them more operational independence and flexibility by the end of 2010.

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