The move to recognise medical licences across emirates is expected to give patients a wider choice of doctors. Picture for Illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: In a major move for the advancement of the health-care sector, unified medical licences will now be recognised across the UAE with effect from October 12, paving the way for medical professionals to work across the country.

The Dubai Health Authority is implementing an earlier agreement for unification of medical practitioners during the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress in January.

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, acting director of Health Regulation Department at DHA, said it is excellent move. “ It’s like having a driving license that is recognised throughout the country,” she said.

Similarly doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals will not need to sit for exams or send their papers for primary verification once they have already been certified as practitioners in Dubai or another emirate. Their licence will be recognised throughout the country. This will give the patients a wider range of choices.

In case of certain super specialities ,there are only a limited number of doctors available in the country. Now these doctors will have better mobility and can travel from one emirate to another for medical consultation. However, doctors will only have to now take permission from the health authorities of the emirate in which they wish to practise. The price of licensing procedures remains the same.

Eisa Al Maidour, Director-General of DHA, said that this move works as it seeks to unify medical practice and streamline the professional medical licensing process. “With the introduction of this process, all health-care professionals will be evaluated based on the same criteria across UAE,” he said.

For the time-being all professionals graduating from accredited local programmes within the UAE will be exempted from experience requirement so that they can begin practice in their field of medicine or nursing after completion of the medical programme and internship. For the first two years, they will work under supervision in a secondary or tertiary hospital.

Al Maidour also said that for certain certificate holders, the number of years required for a specialist physician/dentist to be a consultant has been reduced from eight to five years as a means to provide growth opportunities to medical professionals. He said that American board, Canadian board and Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) certificate holders from UK will be eligible to be consultants directly.