Coronavirus: new UAE report to help shape future health care

Experts said dedicated virology departments would help in future outbreaks

Rapid testing across the country has been hailed as a successful measure in fighting future pandemics. Victor Besa
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Lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic will help shape the future of UAE healthcare systems, a new report has said.

Analysts looked at how policy and infrastructure in the country had coped under sustained pressure from the virus.

Transforming public spaces such as stadiums into temporary hospitals was judged to be one successful strategy.

Others included implementing lockdowns with clear public messaging to help contain the outbreak.

“Throughout history, we have witnessed that during times of war and crises significant breakthroughs have been made leading to the wellbeing and prosperity of the wider community,” said Humaid Al Qutami, director general of the Dubai Health Authority.

“Such solutions can only be achieved through a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, followed by meticulous plans to ensure logical and realistic outcomes.”

The new report was published by the Dubai Future Foundation in collaboration with the Dubai Future Council for Health and Wellbeing.

Entitled ‘Life after Covid-19: Health’, it highlighted some of the major shifts in policy the world has witnessed since the pandemic began.

Researchers aimed to collate some of the more prominent to serve as a reference point for future crises.

Experts also hoped to present a picture of what steps could be taken in the future to better protect and bolster healthcare services.

They noted that mass screening centres in the UAE were opened in record time and that the creation of large, temporary field hospitals was a wise strategy.

Researchers also predicted that telemedicine could play a more prominent role in the future provision of healthcare, with more patients accessing consultations online. Dedicated epidemiology and virology departments were recommended too.

“The ‘Life After Covid-19: Health’ report aims to serve as a source of insight on the future of healthcare, as well as highlight trends and propose short and long-term solutions to support leaders and decision makers to make proactive sound decisions and strategies,” said Khalfan Belhoul, chief executive of the Dubai Future Foundation.