The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), represented by Sharjah Medical District, organized a scientific seminar on ‘New in Comprehensive Quality and International Accreditation of Health Establishments,’ in the presence of H.E Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing Sector and; Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarouni, Director of Sharjah Medical District; and in the presence of 350 medical and pharmaceutical staff.
Dr. Al Amiri highlighted the role of the Ministry in the dissemination of exemplary medical practices in health facilities for the safety of patients and the improvement of health services provided. The Ministry also plays a significant role in promoting the development and utilization of information technology as a reference and as an essential tool for improving health care services. He further emphasized the importance of high-quality medical practices across all health facilities at the governmental and private levels, in order to attain international healthcare standards and to achieve indicators of the national agenda.
He pointed out the significance of encouraging the private sector to contribute to the fulfillment of the UAE's vision of establishing a health system that is on par with international standards. He added that this requires mutual cooperation to ensure the safety of medical practices, with a group of internationally recognized agencies specialized in accreditations like Joint International Commission (JCI), and Accreditation Canada Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).
An overview of quality of healthcare in the UAE
Dr. Amin emphasized the UAE vision’s focus on healthcare quality, highlighting the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who said: "The health of our citizens is priceless, and treatment is their vested right." The directives of the healthcare leaders are based on envisioning of the future, strengthening the empowerment resources through strategic guidelines including smart government, UAE Government Excellence Program, Excellence Award in Government Performance, National Innovation Strategy, UAE Centennial 2071, UAE Vision 2021, National Agenda, Outlook 2050.
National legislation and policies enhancing healthcare practices
His Excellency referred to a number of health laws and legislation that contributed to promoting a supportive environment for sustainable quality in healthcare. Some of the most important legislation in this aspect are Federal Law No. (4) of 2015 on Private Health Establishments, Federal Law No. 4 of 2016 on Medical Liability, Federal Law No. (5) for the year 2016 for Organ Transplantation, National Strategic Stock Decree No. 872 of 2016 and the Executive Version of the Council of Ministers. In addition to Ministerial decree number 900-2012 on pharmacy working conditions, good storage practices, GLP for good Laboratory practices for quality control laboratories, and Cabinet Decision No. 44-2016 on regulation of service charges, Ministerial Decision No. 1448 of 2017 on the adoption of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Health Professionals and Ministerial Decision No. 28 of 2018 on the Registration of Innovative and Rare Drugs.
Adoption of unified national standards for hospitals
Al Amiri highlighted the UAE Cabinet’s decision regarding the adoption of unified national standards for hospitals in the UAE, which are subject to licensing, including the government and private sectors. Under this, the health authorities of the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Department of Health of Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority and the Sharjah Health Authority have unified national hospital standards, which is a milestone in achieving the UAE's strategic objectives to improve healthcare.
Licensing of health care providers and facilities
Al Amiri said that the number of healthcare providers was 61,878 in 2015, rising to 74,899 in 2016. The number of licensed health facilities rose from 4,201 in 2015 to 4,522 in 2016. The UAE ranked first globally in terms of the number of establishments, comprising 178 accredited health institutions.
Pharmaceutical achievements in the UAE: An innovative example
Al Amiri pointed out that the number of drug safety reports submitted to the Uppsala Monitoring Centre before the activation of the full participation amounted to 1,023. The Ministry has made several achievements since the beginning of 2018. The most important of these are the good pharmaco vigilance practices guidelines. After full participation with the Uppsala Center, the Ministry became the approved national center, and four regional centers representing the local health authorities were activated.
Supervision and Inspection Sharjah Medical
Dr. Dalia Abdul Muti Murad, Head of the Supervision and Inspection Department at Sharjah Medical District, pointed out the importance of the scientific seminar, highlighting the importance of the strategic partnership between the Ministry and the private health sector in order to improve health services. She explained that the scientific session brings together many experts and specialists in the field of quality and international accreditation in the region and globally, to discuss and share experiences and knowledge, and to learn the latest developments, in order to improve the quality of healthcare in accordance with the Ministry’s strategy.
The session included several lectures, including one by Dr. Zakaria Al-Attal, Director of Quality and Performance Management at the Ministry, on the culture of patient safety, and the management of health institutions to acquire international accreditation. The session also addressed the principles of controlling infections according to the new standards; the importance of following standard specifications of the designs of health facilities; and adherence to the comprehensive quality standards to reach the profitability of health institutions, in addition to the safe use of antibiotics. At the end of the seminar, Dr. Amin Al Amiri and Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarouni honored the lecturers, organizers, and sponsors. The program also featured the opening of a technical and medical exhibition accompanying the activities of the scientific day.