Dubai: The UAE is set to attract medical tourists in tertiary care including oncology, a private healthcare leader in the country said as the World Government Summit tackled the ‘Future of Healthcare’ on Wednesday.
Taking place against the backdrop of the UAE’s exceptional handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Government Summit reinforced the nation’s focus on developing its healthcare and other core sectors, underscoring its capabilities as a regional knowledge-hub.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director, VPS Healthcare, a title sponsor of the forum, said the incredibly agile and swift response of the UAE government during the COVID-19 pandemic is a global example of the multi-collaborative model that the UAE champions and encourages between the public and private sectors.
Investing in wellbeing
Investing in the future of citizens’ wellbeing continues to be a priority and the private sector stands ready to help make the UAE a world leader in quality of life, he noted.
“In the UAE and around the world, private sector innovation is an engine that has the ability to improve healthcare, strengthen health systems and has contributed to and continues to accelerate and amplify efforts towards improving health and wellbeing for all.”
“To that end, we are on an ambitious and bold mission to build an academic medicine initiative that will help create health equity for all. We are investing in education and skills training and retraining that will create better paying jobs for workers and enhanced care for patients,” he said.
He was referring to the Abu Dhabi-headquartered group’s joint initiative with the Cumming School of Medicine of the University of Calgary, Canada, to launch a School of Medicine offering innovative medical education and research programmes in the capital.
He said the platform will bring together medical education, research, and patient care to educate and train the next generation of physicians, biomedical scientists, and other health professionals.
“We are devoting significant resources toward developing clinical research programmes and trials to develop customised approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and drug development for targeted oncology therapies,” he added.
Speaking to Gulf News later, Dr Shamsheer said having a medical school attached to a hospital (Burjeel Medical City in Abu Dhabi) is a sustainable model in medical education and research.
He said the multi-disciplinary team in cancer care at the hospital is ensuring comprehensive treatment. “Diagnostics, medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, palliative care, they’re all under one roof. The fact that we have been doing bone marrow transplant successfully, even for children, gives us hope that people will start seeking such services inside the UAE, instead of flying out like earlier.”
With the UAE’s success story in mitigating the pandemic, he said people have started trusting the system even more.
“So I think that numbers will increase and I think that it will create a new economy.”