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20 - 21 September 2021
ADGM Authorities Building, Al Maryah IslandAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Plan of expansion by adding new medical specialties

His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Health Specialties, chaired the sixth meeting of the Board, where a set of important decisions and recommendations were adopted to enhance the capabilities and outputs of the Institute, including the recommendation to prepare a study on the extent to which practical nursing specialties can be approved under the umbrella of The institute, linking it to the needs of health care system and the labour market, in addition to setting standards and a plan for the expansion of specializations within a first stage, by adding new medical specialties. 

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for the Health Centers and Clinics Sector, Dr. Gamal Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health at Abu Dhabi, Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director General of the Emirates Foundation for Health Services, and Dr. Ghanem Ali Al Hassani, Director of Education Department at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, His Excellency Gamal Ahmed Abdel Salam, Executive Director of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority, His Excellency Dr. Marwan Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Health Regulation Sector at the Dubai Health Authority, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Yousef Baniyas, Director of the Academic Accreditation Commission and Director of the National Qualifications Center in the Ministry of Education, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Hassan Al-Qasim, Acting Vice President of the UAE University for Academic Affairs, and His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Suleiman Al-Hawqani, Secretary General of the National Institute for Health Specialties.

During the meeting, His Excellency Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand was chosen as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Health Specialties, and the updated list of members of the advisory committee of the Institute was approved, in addition to discussing the listed agenda, and what it includes of researches in nursing specialties, as well as tracking the progress of the Institute work during the last period, and a review of the vision, mission and achievements in accordance with the four strategic axes; governance, specialized programs, accreditation, and evaluation.

At the beginning of the meeting, His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, welcomed the attendees, stressing that this stage requires concerted efforts to advance the Institute achievements, develop its performance, and achieve its plans and strategies that are consistent with the UAE future plans and the next fifty years plan, pointing to the importance of nursing specialties and upgrading the nursing profession to its vital role in health care system, through applying the best approved and international standards, to ensure quality and alignment with the needs of the labour market.

The attendees emphasized the importance of the nursing profession, and suggested developing mechanisms to encourage internes to enter the field of nursing, concluding training agreements with major hospitals in the country, benefiting from the national nursing strategy, especially in the governance of nursing education, and the need for closer cooperation between health sectors and universities in order to develop students' capabilities, in addition to focusing on the importance of involving the private sector in the work of the Institute and supporting training, as well as strengthening coordination with the institute and the need to represent it in the related committees and events.

During the meeting, the attendees also recommended that a memorandum of independence shall be prepared based on the approval of the Education and Human Resources Council, to be submitted to the Council of Ministers. A set of axes were emphasized, as all the Institute governance documents were completed, and work is currently underway on their final design.

The attendees confirmed that work is continuing in the eight specialties that were established under the umbrella of the Institute, as the specialized scientific committees are organized in their work and meetings. The standards and a plan for expanding the specializations have been developed within a first stage, by adding medical specialties (such as ophthalmology, anaesthesia, dermatology, neonatology, childbirth, and kidney disease), and this will be followed by dental specialties, and a study to introduce nursing specialties and other health professions under the umbrella of the Institute at a later stage.

The cooperation between the Institute and the health and educational sectors in the country is carried out in this aspect by involving their representatives in the membership of the specialized scientific committees. The Institute seeks to activate the work of the scientific committees through the cooperation of the health sectors in providing assistance to the heads of the scientific committees, according to what suits the nature of the work.

The preparation of all standards, systems and procedures for accreditation has also been completed, and the work of the Central Accreditation Committee continues in regular way after its has been formation by the representatives of the scientific committees and health sectors in the country. In addition, admission tests have been conducted in interne programs for a total of 1,083 applicants, and work is underway to arrange with the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties to assist the Institute in organizing clinical tests during the 2021.

The standards were also prepared and sent, for the purpose of forming the central evaluation committee, and we are waiting for the completion of the nominations from the health sectors. We viewed some proposals from Prometric and Pearson Vue to present the institute exams in its branches around the world, in order to relieve the doctors from the trouble of traveling to conduct tests in the institute headquarters, especially in light of the Corona pandemic. We are in the stage to sign an agreement with one of the service providers, to provide tests globally.