The Covid-19 global pandemic has opened our eyes to much more than we could ever imagine. Reliance on manufacturing powerhouses such as China for example, responsible for over 28 per cent of the world’s manufacturing output in 2018, halted production for several months, causing a risk of a ripple effect globally.
Governments reacted in different ways; some were quick to act in implementation of measures to ensure the safety and sustainability of their citizens, residents and economy, others had a more relaxed ‘wait and see’ approach, all in hopes of maintaining their economies at pre-pandemic levels.
In the UAE, our leadership and regulators decided on the former rather than the latter, and took a more measured approach, highlighting to the residents of our country, yet again, that innovation and quick action helps one overcome any obstacle and emerge triumphantly.
Research and Development resulted in the commencement of the phase III clinical trials of the inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 in late July - through a collaborative effort - a mere few months after the first case was detected in the UAE. More recently announced initiatives include the “Waterfall” initiative, which will provide virtual medical training across 14 medical sectors. It is also the largest global initiative for continuous learning and specialised training to be launched by the UAE. These recent examples, among hundreds of others, bear testament to the fact that the UAE leadership values both self-sufficiency and reliance, and acts accordingly.
Consequently, and as true leadership inspires reflection and, subsequently, positive change, both public and private sector entities, businesses, hospitals and homes, have opted for positive change for the safety and betterment of oneself and of the society as a whole.
From a business perspective, and as a private healthcare provider, at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, we were under the impression, not too long ago, that we were practically a self-sustaining entity. The past few months, however, have proved now, more than ever, the importance of taking a step back in order to effectively be in a better position for the future, and how much of our reliance lies within the hands (or in this case eyes) of our patients.
Strategic investments in digitisation, for example, will help attain the goal of long-term sustainability, and is a key to success with forward-thinking leaders.
Infection control, patient and staff safety, reducing patient journey times, excellence in patient experience, quality care and excellence in outcomes, amongst others, have cemented themselves as high priority indicators for healthcare providers, while other indicators considered in normal circumstances took a temporary backseat.
Reliance on patient loyalty is of paramount importance to longevity, and by implementing changes such as offering more dispersed appointments, the overall patient experience of visiting a healthcare provider is visibly more satisfactory, for all stakeholders involved.
Self-sufficiency is a double-edged sword, and cannot be achieved without reliance, in today’s ever changing landscape.
- The writer is the Business Development and Marketing Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai.