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    Mohammed says government is open to feedback

    Cabinet Retreat concludes in Bani Yas, package of health initiatives approved.

    The government and people are working together as one team as the government is inspired by the people’s ideas with all contributing to improving services within one vision under the team leader, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said on Monday.

    The prime aim of all, he emphasised, is to make the UAE score high rankings in all fields.

    “The buzzword of our success lies with harmonious and concerted work, our innovative, positive and interactive people guided by renewed vision. Our leader, Shaikh Khalifa is always supporting us,” Shaikh Mohammed said.

    Shaikh Mohammed paid tribute to the UAE people for the creative suggestions that had contributed to the success of the Cabinet retreat. He also thanked the entries and ideas from people in sisterly countries, some of which had been considered, he said.

    In his concluding remarks to the two-day ministerial retreat on Sir Bani Yas Island, Shaikh Mohammed said that remarkable achievements had been accomplished since the first Cabinet retreat in 2007 though challenges were tremendous. The second day of the retreat was devoted to examining idea put forward for improving the health sector.

    “The health of our citizens cannot be measured by any cost and treatment anywhere is a vested right for them,” he said. He went on to note that President Khalifa provided continual support for the health sector and that he himself paid attention to progress in the sector, whether through the establishment of hospitals locally or through the provision of specialised medical services within the UAE or abroad.

    While chairing the retreat, Shaikh Mohammed said that the doors of the government as well as minds and hearts of officials are open throughout the year for feedback, suggestions and observations from the public. The government, he said, had drawn inspiration from the thousands of ideas and suggestions put forward by the public.

    “It is our duty to accelerate the pace of development and progress,” he said. “With every day that passes, the government will be better than before because the source of new innovation and ideas, whether from citizens, employees or specialists, will never deplete and this is one of the principles of action of our government.”

    The delivery of better medical services is a joint task for the federal and local governments and the private sector, he noted.

    The special ‘government innovation laboratory’ which was part of the Cabinet retreat, studied suggestions put forward for developing the healthcare sector.

    The first category included raising the quality of healthcare services for the public and private sector. The second category examined the issue of raising the efficiency and competence of the healthcare staff, while promoting careers in health care. The third category examined developing the specialised medical services across the country. The fourth category examined suggestions to catalyse change into lifestyle patterns to improve general health. Finally, the fifth category discussed measures to limit the spread of diseases within society.

    Each group discussed the relevant challenges and looked for creative solutions.

    Shaikh Mohammed participated in the sessions, raising his own questions on the issues under discussion.

    During the sessions, a set of video documents, including views from the public on the challenges facing the health sector and proposals to tackle them, were screened. After the groups’ meetings, a unified meeting was held to review the initiatives and solutions.

    In a statement at the end of the retreat, Shaikh Mohammed emphasised that the Cabinet retreat had delivered one of its main goals which was to examine ideas and suggestions and working out initiatives not only endorsed by the ministers but also by specialists, experts and UAE people as the key partner. He added that the next phase will be one of work, implementation and follow up.

    He said that feedback would be welcomed throughout the year to ensure sustained development in all public services.

    After intensive debate, the extraordinary ministerial retreat approved the following health initiatives:

    * Launching an e-healthcare programme to deliver primary health care services to remote regions, especially to elderly people;

    * Launching a system to evaluate hospitals and health clinics and measure customer satisfaction and success of surgeries;

    * Approving of a comprehensive regular screening programme for every citizen so as to enhance prevention;

    * Preparing a professional organisational structure for the government health sector and developing career path plans to make the profession more attractive;

    * Standardising benchmarks of accrediting doctors and healthcare professionals across the State;

    * Introducing unified national standards for the quality of health services;

    * Launching an early cancer detection programme;

    * Establishing a national data base for medical records to allow easy referral of patients between government and private hospitals;

    * Approving a package of measures to address obesity and promote healthy lifestyles (limiting the size of fizzy drinks, imposing controls on advertisement of unhealthy foods and showing calories of food items etc);

    * Setting a strategy for establishing R&D centres in partnership with academic institutions;

    * Establishing a national cancer registry;

    * Launching the UAE Board to become a reference for all medical specialisations;

    * Setting up a world-class technical centre for continuous training of health professionals;

    * Launching a stimulus programme to attract more Emiratis to the nursing profession;

    * Implementing an integrated programme to promote public awareness about healthy lifestyle in order to increase prevention;

    * Introducing and implementing common standards for healthy food in all government and private schools.


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