Health of citizens is priority: VP

Health of citizens is priority: VP

The UAE Cabinet endorsed an initiative to establish a national unified database of patient's medical records in the UAE on Sunday. The initiative is one of the outcomes of the Cabinet’s Government Innovation Lab, chaired last year in Sir Bani Yas, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the Ministerial Retreat.

It aims to unify all medical records of patients in the UAE, facilitate movement of patients among healthcare providers, as well as connect public hospitals and clinics. Providing up-to-date medical records is a necessity for improving healthcare services in the UAE. It will contribute to ensuring an improved level of healthcare, eliminate duplications, reduce registration times, medication errors and the length of hospital stays. It will be implemented in the coming four years.

Sheikh Mohammed said, "Providing healthcare services in the UAE is a joint work among federal, local governments and private sector. Improving healthcare services will never stop, as the health of our citizens is our utmost priority."

He added, "Building a high-quality healthcare system and providing the best services to patients require streamlining efforts in this sector. Today, we announced a unified national medical record to facilitate the healthcare services and provide up-to-date medical data. We want healthcare services to reach patients no matter where they are in the country, to realise high quality standard of living to our people and ensure their health requirements are met."

The Vice President made his remarks while chairing the Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace. The meeting was attended by Lt General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Pertaining to healthcare sectors, the Cabinet also approved the implementing of an initiative on mobile healthcare services programme to provide services in remote areas, especially for senior citizens. The mobile healthcare services will focus on home-care services and outpatient specialty clinics.

The initiative reflects the UAE government’s strategy to improve service quality and accessibility to all members of the community, especially healthcare services. The mobile healthcare system is an indispensable component of services ensuring all community benefits from the system, especially those living in the remote areas.

The Cabinet also discussed other topics on the agenda and endorsed the amendment of the Cabinet Decree on Government Financial Policy Coordination Council. The amendment will include adding more items to the Decree No 26 of the Year 2011 on the Council that will streamline the scope of work of the council to boost competiveness in various sectors in the country.

The Government Financial Policy Coordination Council aims to achieve financial balance between federal and local governments that will result in financial regulation and eventually achieve economic balance. Meanwhile, the Cabinet also reviewed recommendations of the Financial and Economic Committee on amendments to the 2015 federal budget.

For legislative matters, the Cabinet endorsed a federal law on establishing the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA). The EDA aims to build capabilities that support the objectives of the UAE’s foreign policy by delivering high impact training and disseminating research and leadership that furthers the understanding of diplomacy and international relations.

On organisational matters, the Cabinet approved the amendment of the organisational structure of the National Media Council (NMC) and its board is in line with efforts to improve government work. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, will chair the new board and the members will be representatives from the federal and local authorities concerned.

The amendment aims to streamline the work of the NMC to boost the international reputation of the UAE, raise awareness about its achievements in various sectors such as playing a global role in diplomacy, humanitarian and development aid, as well as hosting international organisations in the country.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet reviewed a recommendation submitted by the Federal National Council related to policy of Ministry of Social Affairs on cooperatives. On the international level, the Cabinet endorsed the EU-UAE visa waiver agreement, whereby Emiratis would no longer require a visa for short stays in the Schengen countries. In addition, the Cabinet approved the UAE and Kuwait cooperation agreement in aviation services, and another agreement between the UAE and the Comoros in economic and commercial fields.