On a mission to reduce cancer deaths, the UAE Cabinet yesterday approved a new initiative for early detection of the disease among Emiratis.
The new initiative, cleared in a Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to detect cancer during early stages and raise awareness among Emiratis on ways to prevent the disease. According to official estimates, approximately 4,500 new cases of cancer are reported in a year in the UAE which is aiming to bring down cancer fatalities by nearly 18 per cent by 2021. Almost a third of new cases are among Emiratis.
“We will continue to launch initiatives to develop the health-care sector. Our goal is to make a community happy and serve it within a healthy environment,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
The initiative will provide preventive and treatment services to reduce prevalence of cancer and encourage research on the disease. It will also provide a unified system for information and statistics for all medical institutions in the country. The Cabinet also decided to take steps to make nursing profession more appealing to Emiratis. A new programme will be launched to boost the number of qualified Emirati nurses capable of providing exceptional healthcare. It will be implemented in cooperation with strategic education partners, health authorities, and media institutions, WAM reported.
Dr Yousuf Al Serkal, Assistant Under-Secretary for hospitals sector at Ministry of Health and Prevention, told Gulf News that Cabinet’s order has “come as a support for government’s initiative of making the nursing sector more attractive to Emiratis.”
“Right now, less than five per cent of nurses in government hospitals run by the ministry are Emiratis and we hope these numbers will go up with this initiative,” he said.
Alisha Moopen, CEO of Aster DM Health Care Hospitals and Clinics, said having more Emirati nurses would be a very positive step. “The first line of medical tourists to come to the UAE are going to be from the GCC and other Arab countries,” he added. From the patient’s perspective, she noted, this step will boost the comfort levels as it will be culturally very appealing to them.