Immediate investment in training required to address existing workforce capacity gaps in the provision of emergency care in the UAE

arab-health-1Dubai, UAE, 18 December 2016 – In 2014 alone, the emirate of Abu Dhabi saw more than 1.1 million emergency care cases[1] and, with the demand for emergency medicine projected to increase exponentially by 2035, six additional hospitals are to be added in the capital by 2020 to provide further capacity in emergency care. Analysis also shows that the projected demand for major trauma in Abu Dhabi is double that of major trauma rates in the UK and Australia, for example. However, Emergency Medicine (EM) in the UAE has come a long way in a short time. Compared to majority of Middle Eastern countries, the specialty is advancing rapidly in different dimensions including training programs and systems of care; but a few more steps need to be taken to reach the goal of world-class emergency care in the UAE. 

The region’s premier healthcare exhibition and congress, Arab Health, has announced the addition of two novel training tracks in emergency medicine and oncology to discuss the latest developments in emergency care preparedness as well as the most recent advancements in oncology treatment. For the first time, the congress will feature a three-day skills workshop by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Arab Health 2017 is set to open its doors from 30 January–2 February 2017 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Dr. Saleh Faris, Consultant of Emergency Medicine, EMS and Disaster Medicine, President Emirates Society of Emergency Medicine (ESEM) commented: “ESEM’s collaboration to co-organize the first Emergency Medicine Conference at Arab Health 2017 is a major step forward for the specialty. An event of this caliber brings together medical care providers, physicians, nurses and paramedics to strengthen knowledge in the field, and contribute to the UAE’s government health agenda to achieve a world-class healthcare system. Indeed the scientific program is rich and diverse and we hope to continue such collaborations in the future to support healthcare practitioners in developing their skills and learn best practice in the field.”

Case in point is the key session by Dr. Firas Jaafar Kareem Al Najjar, Program Director-Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Dubai Health Authority, on how to set up Emergency Residency Program in order to boost the pool of local emergency medicine candidates in the region. Also, the exclusive skills development workshop by MSF will share the organization’s long-standing expertise on topics such as management of mass casualties, treatment of burned patients, and emergency medicine best practice.

“The Arab Health’s 2017 Congress presents Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with the opportunity to share its work and expertise in providing medical emergency care including on issues such as mass casualty, burns & trauma management as well as antibiotic resistance with a broad range of audience coming from across the Middle East. In 2015, MSF had 44 medical humanitarian projects in the Middle East region alone where it delivered emergency aid to people in need particularly in conflict situations. It will also be a great opportunity to learn about the latest in the field, innovative approaches and explore best practices in medical humanitarian relief,” said Rupa Kanapathipillai, Infectious Diseases Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières.

Oncology will also be a key feature of the congress, bringing together local, regional and international oncology experts to discuss and present the latest advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  With the Middle East predicted to have the highest increase in cancer cases when compared to other regions, and an estimated 400,000 deaths as a result of cancer per year[2], knowledge in oncology treatment remains a key focus for the region. The oncology conference addresses this rising tide of cancer in the Middle East.

Commenting on the importance of this year’s Oncology congress, Simon Page, Managing Director, Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions said: “Each year we aim to bring training in the most relevant and pressing topics in healthcare to our delegates to support the continuous growth and need for exceptional oncology care in the region. This year, we are pleased to welcome world-renowned expert proton beam therapy, Dr Jun-etsu Mizoe who is the Director of the Nagoya Proton Therapy Center in Japan, who will discuss how this revolutionary therapy treatment could benefit cancer patients in the region. Other key sessions include state-of-the-art radiation therapy, the latest on thyroid cancer, women’s oncology, neuro-oncology, preventive and personalized treatments, screenings and minimally invasive surgery, among others.”

The 42nd edition of the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress 2017 will feature a total of 14 conferences including: workforce empowerment, 3D bio-printing medical possibilities, big data, healthcare business forum, orthopedics, pediatrics, public health, quality management, surgery, radiology, the 9th Middle East Gastroenterology and leaders in healthcare conference.

For more information on Arab Health Exhibition and Congress 2017, please visit

[1] Capacity Master Plan. Health Authority Abu Dhabi. August 2016.

[2] WHO Report on World Cancer Day. February 2016.

**Please note, Thumbay Group, Gulf Medical University, and HEALTH magazine are not liable nor responsible for the facts, figures, and overall content of the press releases on our portal.

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