Naif COVID-19 testing
The fight against COVID-19 has multiple frontlines. UAE's healthcare services will benefit from tighter integration between government and private sector efforts. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

No industry is insusceptible to the effects of this COVID-19 emergency. A huge number of families in the region are encountering its impacts or prepping for what is to come.

As their supporters, we will keep on elevating their voices as we evaluate the effect on organisations of all sizes through the region, and explore avenues to work close with the generous national leaders at each level to help moderate the financial aftermath as this emergency continues to develop.

Our country’s response has been extraordinary and with the private sector support in three areas in particular, the response against the virus would become even more impactful:

1. Keeping supply chains and logistics open so that drugs, vaccines and masks are available to deal with surging demand.

2. Providing a flow of trustworthy information to staff and local communities. Firms should be as honest, transparent and as informed as possible.

3. Engagement of health care facilities for community-based mass testing. This includes diagnostic tests, sharing best practices in public health and prevention and the management of therapeutics and drugs for patients who have already contracted COVID-19. Another important aspect is when the government sees a surge incapacity use — at the time it can leveraging the online and offline capabilities of the private sector health care network.

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic is a catastrophe and a worldwide emergency, which also poses major risks for the region’s economy. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure strong countrywide response through closer collaboration and upgraded coordination of our endeavours.

While current difficulties may require national crisis measures, we remain committed to the stability of the UAE’s economy. We express our conviction that current challenges related to the pandemic need a strongly coordinated international approach, based on science and evidence, consistent with our national values, and utilising the strengths of private sector health care.

Vulnerabilities and strengths

The pandemic is a powerful reminder of our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities. The virus respects no borders. Combating this calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based nationwide response. We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat.

Tackling the pandemic is a coordinated effort intertwined with health, social and economic issues and minimising its impact is our absolute priority. We express our gratitude and support to all front line doctors, nurses and technicians as we continue to fight the pandemic.

Reflecting the spirit of collaboration that characterises our health care community, government agencies and the private sector health care have come together as a group, sharing best practices, and taking decisive actions in the interest of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.

Additional solutions might be urgently needed, and the private sector health care is here to partner with government to move quickly to ensure the needs of communities are addressed in a timely and equitable way.

By acting together, we must work to resolve the health and economic risks caused by the COVID-19 and set the stage for a strong recovery of sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

And, over the next few weeks, as we face a once-in-a-century battle for the health and well-being of our citizens and our nation — and after the battle is won over by us — we will then ask what we learnt and what we should do differently next time. I hope this includes an exploration of how much we benefit from our country’s unique public-private collaboration and how we can make it stronger and deeper in the future.

Government agencies and private sector health care have come together as a group, taking decisive actions in the interest of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community

- Michael Davis of NMC Health

— Michael Davis is Acting CEO at NMC Health plc.