UAE hospitals need more Emirati doctors

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Hospitals are seeking different strategies to boost the number of Emirati doctors, as Emiratisation could significantly contribute to the sustainability of UAE’s healthcare sector, Khaleej Times has learned.

Saood Al Hameli, Emiratisation director—Human Capital, Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi, said more Emirati doctors are needed in UAE hospitals. Various strategies have been implemented at the clinic, he said, adding that the time is just ripe for Emiratis to join the clinical field.

“The focus is to expand the number of Emiratis in the medical field and increase their skills. The numbers of UAE nationals in clinical areas need to be increased,” he said.

Al Hameli said the clinic created a platform of programmes to help in the development of the capacities of UAE nationals, including volunteering initiatives for youngsters, as well as scholarship programs, which have so far received impressive results.


“We launched a partnership with Fatima College of Health and Science to sponsor 20 Emiratis going to the college. We are developing an Emiratisation strategy – next year we aim to add another 25 students – limited to nursing and allied health,” Hameli said. Currently, people of 75 different nationalities are working in Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. “Our target for the year is to have 18 percent Emiratis in clinical and non-clinical sections.”

“Currently, we have more than 500 UAE nationals and our focus is to increase the number of Emiratis in the clinical areas by offering programs to train and develop talented UAE nationals,” he added.

Emirati physicians also have the chance to receive a one-year intensive internship programme, which also aims to boost the number of UAE doctors and their skills.

Enthusiastic Emirati students with a deeply rooted passion for medicine have the chance to get hands-on experience by helping patients in Abu Dhabi.

The Junior Caregiver Program, which is the very first high school clinical volunteer drive in the UAE, included 35 Emirati high school students, who joined the clinic and worked alongside the doctors, nurses and staff. “100 students were interviewed – 40 were chosen and 35 of them were Emiratis. They were chosen because they wanted to pursue medical education. These Grade A students are very smart,” said Hameli. About 70 percent of the first batch said they would love to pursue medical sciences.

“We collaborated with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, who were supportive when we came up with the idea,” he added. TNS

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