UAE to Boost Health Research Capabilities as Part of 50-Year Strategy

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The United Arab Emirates’ Cabinet, the de facto executive branch of the federation, recently announced a set of decisions and legislation to support health research as a pillar of the country’s 50-year plan. The measures intend to support the healthcare sector, improve its quality and performance.

 

They include a resolution to establish the National Center for Health Research which aims to set the national strategy for health research in the UAE with “a view to organizing research and determining the priorities of health research in the country.” The center will create a unified database on researchers and health researches in the country to collaborate with international institutions and organizations; it will also “support the implementation of programs and will contribute to convert health research outputs into products, services or policies in order to raise the bar of health care services,” announced the Cabinet in a statement.

 

“The preparation for the next 50 years is a challenge we accept along with our federal teams. We are confident that these teams are up for the challenge and able to create a positive change in the lives of our citizens and to achieve the objectives of the agenda 2021,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.

 

In addition to the center, the government will establish the National Cancer Registry to help decision-makers obtain the most accurate and latest indicators related to the disease. The registry, said the Cabinet, will identify its causes, types, and the groups that are most affected by it, and classify the number of cancer patients by gender and age.

 

The news is the latest in a series of government-led decisions to further maximize the use of data, after the Abu Dhabi Department of Health announced last month a national program to use large-scale genomic data with the aim of allowing doctors working in the Emirates to provide more personalized and preventive treatment.

 

Adding to the research infrastructure efforts, the Cabinet also set its aim on strengthening the legal protections for doctors and patients, approving a resolution on the Supreme Medical Liability Committee, establishing a committee for medical liability in every health entity. “The resolution aims to improve the relationship between the provider and recipients of health services in the country to the best possible levels, to guarantee the rights of each party and to determine the appropriate procedures to defend and protect such rights,” said the statement.

 

The attempts to improve to the regulatory framework of the healthcare system has been praised by many in the country’s ecosystem, including Maryam Matar, founder and chairperson of the United Arab Emirates Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA). “What I believe to be a great advantage over other markets, such as the United States, is that the UAE will rarely delay a law. The [authorities] have great flexibility in modifying existing laws. That flexibility in enforcing laws and modifying them according to the needs of the people is what makes UAE healthcare services extremely attractive,” she told PharmaBoardroom.

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