Dubai: The Gulf Medical University (GMU), one of the top 50 medical educational institutes in the region, announced the launch of an Academic Thumbay University Hospital, two new colleges and new programmes as part of its planned educational strategy. The announcements were made by GMU chancellor Professor Hossam Hamdy last week.

Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder and president of Thumbay Group, has approved a budget of Dh1 billion to expand and transform the Thumbay Medicity into a comprehensive educational and academic hub.

The latest development includes the launch of two new colleges at the university — the Nursing College and College of Health Care Management and Health Economics — which bring the total number of colleges at GMU to six.

The university plans to introduce new higher education programmes in nursing during the 2018-19 academic year.

Providing details of the two new degree programmes, Prof Hamdy said the expansion included the introduction of a Master’s degree in Public Health and another one in Environmental Health and Toxicology. These degrees have been made possible as a result of recently forged partnership between GMU and University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, USA.

The University had also signed several other memoranda of cooperation and understanding with a number of leading educational institutes, in an effort to enrich its students’ education.

Prof Hamdy also announced the launch of the University Hospital in Ajman in October. With an initial capacity of 350 beds, the new hospital’s capacity is expected to reach nearly 500 beds once it is fully operational.

The new hospital, one of the three announced, includes the Dental Hospital and the Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Hospital and will be located at the Thumbay Medicity in Al Jurf, Ajman.

The university is also utilising the latest technologies in teaching and training students across all majors to ensure their workplace readiness once they graduate.

One of the most prominent uses of technology in teaching is the virtual patient learning (VPL), a simulation programme that enables medical students to diagnose, treat and observe a patient’s progress. Based on artificial intelligence technology and developed by GMU and Swiss tech company Lifelike, the VPL programme secured top positions regionally and globally at the 2017 Reimagine Education Conference and Awards in the USA.

In terms of advancing health care in the UAE and globally, GMU had earlier launched three facilities dedicated to medical research. These are the cancer immunology and experimental oncology facility; the tumour genetic instability and immunogenicity unit; and the biomarkers and functional genomics facility.