Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), a member of Tatweer, will embark on several initiatives this year to transform healthcare in the Middle East, one of its officials said yesterday at Arab Health, a conference of the region's healthcare sector.
Speaking to the press at the conference, Dr Ayesha Abdullah, Senior Vice-President of Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), said the initiatives for 2009 include the Harvard Medical School Dubai Centre's (HMSDC) CME educational session on diabetes – a disease which is a significant threat to the Arab World with the UAE ranking second worldwide for the number of patients.
In addition, HMSDC is developing a simulation centre to offer a variety of mobile simulation-based courses for all levels of professionals.
The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR) will provide a Science Writers and Journalists Fellowship Programme in 2009 for the second consecutive year, as well as post-doctoral research fellowships based in Harvard to train scientists and researchers from the region.
In addition, DHFMR is providing annual grants for two research teams under the Collaborative Research Centre Programme.
Speaking at the press conference, Dr Abdullah said: "A major priority for DHCC is the development of local and regional healthcare professionals through medical education and research programmes, which focus on health issues relevant to the region. As an internationally recognised integrated destination for quality healthcare, medical education, research and wellness services, we have registered substantial progress in improving the quality of healthcare, while enabling the local and regional community to access our world-class services."
DHCC has further developed Taqeem, the region's first healthcare licencing examination centre, to improve healthcare quality and implement the best medical practices. Taqeem will develop and administer comprehensive examinations for healthcare professionals. The candidates passing these examinations will be eligible for licences from DHCC and other affiliated organisations in the UAE and the GCC.
Taqeem's examinations will include the General Medical Licensure Examination (the MLE-G), comparable to Step Three of the USMLE, the internationally recognised gold standard for medical licencing examinations developed and administered by the United States National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
In highlighting the rapid progress, Dr Abdullah showcased a range of achievements.
She said major global brands operating in DHCC include the Mayo Clinic, Harvard and Boston Universities, Moorfields Eye Hospital, the German Heart Centre, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital, Novartis and Astra Zeneca.
The Centre for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ) has begun implementing complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) codes, developed by ABC Coding Solutions to regulate and measure the outcomes of CAM procedures within DHCC. This plan is unique to this part of the world.
Dr Abdullah also said the DHCC's strategic partner, Boston University Dubai, has become the first and only private dental post-graduate institute in the Middle East to have a full spectrum of academic programmes in five specialties accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
She said University Hospital, the centrepiece of DHCC's Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre, signed a seven-year partnership with Epic Systems Corporation, developers of advanced clinical systems.
The hospital is establishing a Centre of Excellence for Nursing and Career Advancement – the first of its kind in the Middle East. A number of new, high-quality healthcare providers have joined DHCC, including the City Hospital, Sharif Medical Centres and Dubai Bone and Joint Centre, Dr Abdullah said. These have relocated their premises to the DHCC, in state-of-the-art ambulatory care centre, The Dubai Medical Suites or DMS. In addition, plans are being developed for a wellness community through the Dubai Wellness Resort Project.
Dr Abdullah said: "The breadth and quality of our progress demonstrates our commitment to realising our vision. With patient satisfaction at 89 per cent, we know we are making an impact – and will continue to develop the facilities and expertise that will secure our position as the leader in quality, patient-centred healthcare."