COVID-19: UAE and Canada explore strengthening health sector ties

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The UAE-Canada Business Council has been discussing ways to enhance bilateral ties in the health sector and building research capabilities in the post-COVID-19 period.

This includes cooperation in medical education and developing the workforce.

The talks took place during the virtual UAE-Canada Health Education and Innovation Forum, organised by the Canadian International Health Education Association (CIHEA).

Representatives from the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), Dubai Health Authority, Zayed Military Hospital and the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the United Arab Emirates University were among those taking part.

Dr Andrew Padmos, Chair of the CIHEA, opened the event stating, "CIHEA member institutions in Canada were encouraged by the many healthcare, health workforce and health system opportunities presented by the dynamic UAE-based institutions and progressive Emirati health system leaders. We look forward to many collaborations in education, training and technologies to strengthen, enlarge and enhance the UAE health workforce to improve health outcomes and develop leadership programmes and research capabilities."

While Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, Under-Secretary, Abu Dhabi Department of Health, said, "Under the shared vision and a common goal, Abu Dhabi and Canada will work closely together to further equip the healthcare workforce with the knowledge, education and training opportunities to continue being our all-time heroes during COVID-19 and at all times."

In his speech, Dr Gareth Goodier, Group CEO of SEHA, noted: "As the UAE’s largest healthcare network, SEHA is committed to fostering partnerships that enable talent development within the healthcare sector by facilitating effective knowledge sharing initiatives."

Smaller group discussions during the forum focused on expanding joint ventures in medicine, nursing and allied health, as well as in health technology and innovation.

Marcy Grossman, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE, remarked that "Canada has one of the top healthcare systems globally and an excellent medical training infrastructure that has produced some of the brightest minds in the field of medicine. I am optimistic that many Emirati nationals will choose to train in Canadian universities and colleges and become remarkable healthcare leaders."

Fahad Al Raqbani, Ambassador of the UAE to Canada, added, "We are also extremely proud of our Emirati doctors, training and serving on Canada’s front lines, and look forward to increasing these opportunities for the mutual benefit of both countries."

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