NAT 200819 DHA WEBINAR-1597820387396
A high-level delegation from Dubai Health Authority took part in a webinar with officials from India's health-care sector. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Indian health officials participated in a webinar on Tuesday to discuss issues of public health and mental ailments and to explore collaborative health-care opportunities.

Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA, said in his opening address to the webinar that the UAE and India shared a strong historical partnership and the two sides were keen on further strengthening their ties in order to be able to explore collaboration opportunities, particularly in specialised areas of health care.

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High-level officials from the DHA participated in the webinar, including Dr Younis Kazim, CEO of Dubai Healthcare Corporation, and Farida Al Khaja. CEO of Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector.

‘Continuation of dialogue’

In December 2019, a delegation headed by Al Qutami had visited India. The delegation visited several esteemed hospitals and institutions in India to explore collaborative opportunities in the health-care sector.

Specific areas of collaboration included mental health, organ transplant, medical research, cancer care, cardiology, health innovation and geriatric services.

Al Qutami said: “The aim of our visit and the continuation of dialogue are in line with our vision to collaborate with leading institutions in the world in the health sector to provide high-quality care to our patients and visitors. We are keen to share experiences and expertise with the aim to further bolster the health sector in Dubai and provide world-class patient-centred care.

“DHA has always been keen to further bolster the relationship between the two countries,” added Al Qutami.

‘UAE and India are strategic partners’

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “The way the UAE authorities have managed the pandemic is truly an example for the rest of the world. COVID-19 has brought health care centre stage and it is important for health systems around the world to build partnerships. UAE and India are strategic partners and it is important for them to continue to build a strong partnership in the field of health-care.”

K.K. Shailaja, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Kerala, also participated in the webinar. She said: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate the UAE Government for their work in containing COVID-19. We have a large number of Keralites living in the UAE and I express my thanks to the UAE Government. We have a robust partnership with the UAE — one that is historic. It is a relationship we truly value and appreciate. During the DHA’s visit last year, we discussed specific areas of collaboration with a focus on patient care. The recent pandemic has reinforced the spotlight on public health and its importance.”

Shailaja also highlighted the role of mental health support and counselling, and technologies such as telemedicine.

Importance of capacity building

Dr Rajeev Sadanandan, advisor to the chief minister of Kerala, highlighted the role of data monitoring and technology from electronic patient record to hospital infrastructure. He also discussed the importance of capacity building and the need to continue to collaborate at an international level on health information.

Dr Mohammed Al Redha, director of Project Management Office, Informatics and Smart Health at the DHA and moderator of the webinar, said: “During our trip to India, we discussed specific areas of collaboration. Public health and mental health are extremely vital areas of health care. The webinar provided an opportunity for both sides to discuss best practises, challenges and further plans in the public and mental health field.”

‘Public-private partnership’

Dr Shajir Gaffar, CEO, VPS Healthcare Dubai and Northern Emirates, said: “The recent pandemic has reinforced the importance of public and private partnership as well as shifted the spotlight to public and mental health. This webinar provides an opportunity to share information on best-practises, public health policies and challenges so that we can further develop health-care entities in a manner that they are fully equipped to deal with any challenge that lies ahead.”

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Speakers at the webinar included Dr Hassan Shuri, head of the section and consultant, Medical Fitness Department, at DHA, Sandesh Cadabam, managing director and CEO, Cadabams Group, Dr B.R. Madhukar, medical director, Cadabams Hospitals, and Dr Khawla Ahmed, consultant, Medical Affairs Department, DHA.