Dr Shaikh Sultan looks on as Shaikha Jawaher and Masoud Husain sign the five-year Memorandum of Understanding at Al Badea Palace in Sharjah on Wednesday. Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: A new agreement between Sharjah and Canada will provide for the setting up of a hospital specialising in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and a research centre dedicated to childhood illnesses at a cost of Dh1 billion, among other projects.

The five-year renewable Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

The deal was inked in the presence of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, at Al Badea Palace.

Several dignitaries, including Masoud Hussain, Canadian Ambassador to the UAE; Emmanuel Kamarianakis, Canadian Consul-General in Dubai; Salem Mohammad Al Owais, chairman of Sharjah Environment Company (Bee’ah). were present.

It comes as part of joint efforts by Sharjah and Canada to open up channels of investment in medical projects, exchange expertise and further advance the quality of health care in compliance with international standards.

Under the MoU, the Canadian government and the emirate of Sharjah will set out a range of action plans and strategies for health care-related investment projects in order to provide the highest level of care for mothers and children.

Shaikha Jawaher said: “The MoU truly reflects the UAE’s approach to activate international relations in terms of the health sector. Sharjah regards medical excellence as one of its primary priorities and is committed to achieving an unrivalled health care environment — from infrastructure and health facilities to management strategies and elite medical staff.”

She underlined that dedication to the quality of health care is not only reflected in the level of services and quality of treatment, it illustrates the emirate’s forward-thinking mind-set, based on investment in human capital and the provision of a health care legacy for future generations.

The MoU aims to promote the importance of mutually beneficial partnerships between the Canadian government and the emirate’s health sector in terms of project management and finance, as well as specific knowledge sharing between medical specialists, consultants, technicians and doctors and nurses.

Sharjah has made strides in developing its health care sector, most notably the recent announcement of Sharjah Healthcare City, which will cover an area of 2.4 million square metres. The first phase of the project is valued at Dh600 million, and the city is expected to be completed by 2020.

Sharjah’s vision for enhancing health care runs parallel with the development of the UAE’s health sector. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked the UAE among the world’s top 30 countries in terms of the performance of health care systems.