Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has allocated a budget of Dh 300 million for the next three years to be invested in Information Technology projects, one of the biggest of its kind, Health Minister Humaid Al Qutami announced at the MoH 2008 – 2010 strategy and work plan conference.

“The MoH strategy is not just a document for reading purposes; instead, it is an integrated work plan and an efficient tool for implementation, monitoring and evaluation, which is developed according to the principles of modern scientific strategic planning,'' said Al Qutami.

Some of the weaknesses mentioned by MoH officials include: lack of health education programmes and promotion, health information infrastructure, ineffective financial and management systems, weak communication and coordination between various departments, no health care response to the population and lack of integrated system to protect health service providers.

Dr. Salem Al Darmaki, Undersecretary Assistant Finance and Administrative, MoH, said the Ministry has allocated various funds for different upcoming projects one of which includes the Health Information System/ Picture Archiving and Communication System (HIS/PACS).

“We have 95 upcoming strategies. Our main aim is to provide medical facilities for UAE residents with a moderate pricing and provide flexibility in communication. We have currently achieved 40 per cent of our strategy plan and aim to increase that percentage to 85 by 2010,'' he said.

Dr. Fatima Abdul Hamid, Member of the Strategic Team, MoH said that HIS/PACS will help create an electronic unification to encourage participation between health authorities and hospitals.

“This project will help revise dependency on international foundations and will improve overall healthcare across the UAE. Everything is moving fast these days, and we are eager to move alongside by providing top-notch medical services,'' said Dr Fatima.

Upcoming initiatives by the MoH:

  • Establish the department for strategic planning and performance at the MoH
  • Establish an electronic system for health information that links federal and local health institutions.
  • Accredit hospitals according to international standards.
  • Prepare hospital laboratories, X-Ray diagnostic services, blood transfusion services in the blood bank and hospitals to meet international standards
  • Exchange medical expertise with reputed international health institutions
  • Design a project to increase the accommodation capacity of the intensive care units
  • Decrease waiting time of patients at hospital Emergency Units
  • Design a project for unified ambulatory services (land, marine and air) and establish a federal common ambulatory center
  • Promote diagnostic services in health centers
  • Implement preventive dental health program as an integral part of primary health care services