UAE set for major changes to health sector

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The UAE Cabinet has approved the establishment of a National Public Health Committee and has also restructured the health council.

It's part of efforts to protect public health and raise the level of preparedness and response to healthcare issues.

The changes were announced during a cabinet meeting, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The new committee will be headed by Abdul Rahman Al Owais, the UAE's Minister of Health & Prevention with the membership of a number of representatives from the ministry and other concerned authorities.

The National Public Health Committee is tasked with reviewing strategies for protecting public health, supervising the implementation of prevention and immediate response plans, coordinating the roles of the ministry, health authorities, and other concerned authorities in the country.

In addition, the committee will be responsible for setting priorities and proposing mechanisms to support and develop research and studies related to public health.

Its members include the Ministry of Health and Prevention; the Presidential Court; the Ministry of Interior; the Ministry of Defense; Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; the National Emergency Crises and Disasters Management Authority; the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security; the Emirates Health Services; the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi; the Dubai Health Authority; the Sharjah Health Authority; in addition to members from the private health sector.

The cabinet has approved the reformation of the UAE Health Council for a period of 3 years, chaired by Abdul Rahman Al Owais and the membership of a number of government and private sector agencies.

The council is responsible for studying main issues facing the health sector at the federal and local levels and the private sector, and the legislation related to this sector as well as the health insurance programmes.

Its main tasks include coordinating work between federal, local and private entities and bodies to improve the level of health services they provide.

In addition, the council is entrusted with exchanging experiences, encouraging health and scientific studies and research, supporting programmes, activities and services to achieve the objectives of the public health policy, and shaping the educational policy for studying health and medical sciences inside the country and abroad, in coordination with the competent authorities in the UAE.

The UAE Health Council is also responsible of setting health policies and strategies related to combating pandemics and taking appropriate decisions in cooperation with the concerned authorities in the country.

The council’s members includes the Chairman of the Department of Health- Abu Dhabi; the Under-Secretary of Ministry of Health & Prevention; the Director-General of Emirates Health Services (EHS); the Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA); the Under-Secretary of the Department of Health- Abu Dhabi; the Director of Sharjah Health Authority; the CEO of Dubai Academic Health Corporation; a representative of Hospitals Initiatives of His Highness the UAE President in the Presidential Court; a representative of the Medical Services Department at the Ministry of the Interior; a representative of the Medical Services Department of the armed forces; a representative of the insurance sector at the Central Bank of the UAE; and representatives from the private health sector representing health care and pharmaceuticals.

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