ABU DHABI // Hundreds of young Emirati doctors expect to start work in the next week after a dispute over who pays them was resolved.
The doctors had completed their internships and had been accepted for residencies that were due to begin last month.
But their contracts were put on hold amid discussions between Seha, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, and Adec, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, about who was responsible for their salaries.
Now, hospital chiefs have been told they can press ahead with getting the doctors back to work.
“We have been informed in a memo from HR that we can begin reinstating these residents with immediate effect,” said a senior doctor at a hospital run by Seha.
“We have only a handful due to start in our organisation, but across the Emirates, there are hundreds of doctors waiting to start work.”
They should start residencies in the next week, he said, which was was great news for understaffed hospitals.
“I don’t know exactly what happened – we were just given a directive to go ahead and bring these guys in. Not just us, all the hospitals.”
One doctor, who is 24 and hoping to specialise in paediatrics, was waiting at home for news. “We might be starting on Sunday. It has still not been announced definitely but they say most probably it will be on Sunday.”
Another junior doctor received a call from her hospital asking for further documentation, but they could not tell her when she would start work.
“I am just hoping it gets sorted soon. We are all just waiting for that phone to ring.”
It is not known how the dispute was resolved. Seha, Adec and the Health Authority Abu Dhabi did not respond to requests for comment.