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‘No proper private hospitals’ in the 1980s: Emirati doctor has seen healthcare transform in the UAE – News


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Published: Monday, March 11, 2024, 4:11 p.m.

Last update: Monday, March 11, 2024, 4:25 p.m.

An Emirati doctor with almost four decades of experience recalls a time when there were no proper private hospitals in the UAE and how the transformation has taken place to the point where foreign patients are flocking to the UAE for treatment.

“I am proud to be one of the highest-ranking Emirati doctors. [in UAE], and by the grace of Allah, I have 39 years of medical experience with me. I have seen my country’s healthcare sector grow by leaps and bounds,” Dr. Suhail Mohamed Kazim told Khaleej Times on the occasion of Emirati Doctor’s Day.

Dr. Kazim studied and worked in India, Iraq, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. He has worked in the public sector, including in the Ministry of Health and Prevention, for more than 20 years.

“In 1985, when I had just started working as an Emirati surgeon at Mafraq Hospital, which is today’s Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), Abu Dhabi, there were no suitable private hospitals. The nearest private hospital was Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah, and that was the only option available,” said Dr Kazim, medical director and medical consultant, general surgery, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda, Dubai.

Dr. Suhail Mohamed Kazim

Dr. Suhail Mohamed Kazim

“Private health insurance was almost unheard of and almost everyone received treatment in government hospitals. Trauma used to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity and there was no adequate trauma center. “Many Emirati parents used to travel abroad for complex treatments.”

Dr Kazim beamed with pride as he spoke about the transformation of the UAE’s healthcare sector.

“Look at the current situation. I am very proud of my nation because today we have a state-of-the-art healthcare service and there is no need to travel abroad. Our ambulances go into action and have saved many lives thanks to their quick and prompt action and transport to trauma centres,” said Dr Kazim.

“In fact, we now have people coming from abroad to my country to receive medical care thanks to the excellent health system. It is indeed an achievement for my nation to reach this high pedestal of health services which is at par, if not better, than many international centres,” Dr Kazim stressed.

On the occasion of this special day, other Emirati doctors shared their feelings about playing a key role in safeguarding the health of community members.

Although the medical profession presents its own set of challenges, Dr. Nadya Almatrooshi noted that having the ability to improve a patient’s quality of life has been a fulfilling experience.

“Being a doctor is physically and emotionally demanding and can be stressful. However, it is a great privilege to be a part of each patient’s wellness journey and know that I am contributing to their healing process,” said Dr. Nadya, cardiothoracic surgery physician at the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu . Dabi.

Dr. Nadya Almatrooshi

Dr. Nadya Almatrooshi

Dr Nahla Al Mansoori, Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at Healthpoint, said: “Emirati Doctor’s Day is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of the country’s doctors, who play a vital role in improving health and the well-being of the community. , inspired by the determination and will of wise leaders to ensure the happiness, well-being and prosperity of all residents. As an Emirati doctor, I am committed to supporting the healthcare sector in our beloved country, striving to make it a global destination for the highest levels of care and a model in the healthcare sector.”

Dr. Nahla Al Mansoori

Dr. Nahla Al Mansoori

Dr. Ahmed Aldhaheri highlighted the government support offered to Emiratis to study and train.

Dr. Ahmed Aldhaheri

Dr. Ahmed Aldhaheri

“The healthcare sector is a noble field of work where innovation and compassion intersect to make a significant difference in people’s lives. I am proud to contribute to the progress of the health sector, promoting the well-being of countless people. Over the years, the government has supported my medical education and residency abroad, as well as my continuing medical education, providing me with numerous professional development opportunities and resources to grow,” Dr. Aldhaheri, section head of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Subspecialty Institute. Abu Dhabi, he said.


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