COVID-19: Abu Dhabi launches new portal to call on healthcare volunteers
A new digital platform has been launched by the Department of Health (DoH), Abu Dhabi to attract clinical staff from across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help during the country’s current outbreak of COVID-19. This follows a decision by the DoH to change medical licensing regulations, now allowing clinicians to work in multiple hospitals due to the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Abu Dhabi Health Workforce Management System is now accepting registrations from individuals interested in volunteering their support, or working full or part-time in the UAE capital’s healthcare sector. In turn, healthcare facilities can review the profiles of registered volunteers, reach out to them directly, and assign roles based on each user’s skill set and preferred conditions for employment.
Those eligible to apply are full- or part-time hospital/clinic workers (who are willing to work additional hours) or retired healthcare workers, and who hold an eligibility letter or have previously passed the DoH healthcare exam; completed the procedures of Dataflow, or hold a medical license from DHA or MOHAP. Clinical volunteers can include those who wish to obtain a license to practice medicine in Abu Dhabi.
“In line with the vision of DoH to continue working towards ensuring the delivery of comprehensive, continuous and timely healthcare services to locals and residents in Abu Dhabi, we have established the volunteer platform that provides an opportunity for healthcare staff who are willing to supplement these efforts by volunteering their time and expertise,” said Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, Acting Under-Secretary of DoH. “We look forward to providing the public with all the necessary support, as part of our precautionary plans to ensure that the local sector remains fully committed to respond to the spread of COVID-19.”
WHY IT MATTERS
In the latest figures shared by the government, the UAE now has 2,359 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, stating that figures are expected to increase due to testing becoming more available and widespread.
“The UAE does not consider the increase in cases to be a concerning development, as the country has intensified its medical examination campaign and enlarged the scope of testing among UAE citizens and residents,” she said. “[However] the increase in the number of cases was a result of individuals’ lack of adherence to precautionary and preventative measures, such as social distancing. Some others were people who returned to the UAE from abroad.”
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The UAE is one of the countries at the forefront of tackling the outbreak of COVID-19 in the GCC region, with nationwide drives and campaigns that include a 24-hour lockdown, sterilisation programmes and drive-thru testing facilities.
Aiding in its efforts abroad, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) – which is the owner of the ExCel London – this week waived charges for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to use the convention centre as a temporary hospital.
“Protecting people and saving lives are of the utmost importance as we face this unprecedented global pandemic. We are doing all that we can to help the UK through these challenging times,” said ADNEC’s managing director and group CEO, Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri. “To be clear, profit has always been the furthest thing from our minds. The venue was offered rent free from the initial conversation with the NHS, and ADNEC Group will ensure the ExCeL London partnership comes at no cost to the NHS.
“It is our firm commitment that we will not charge a penny for the use of our facilities, and we will provide the NHS with the operational and logistical support it needs for NHS Nightingale London.”