The UAE's Dr Saleh Fares Al Ali is set to become the first Arab president of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine (Ifem).
He will be the first person outside of the organisation's founding member countries — Canada, the US, the UK and Australia — to hold the position. He will serve as president-elect until 2024 before starting a two-year term as president in June of that year.
Dr Saleh Al Ali is currently executive director of the centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health — Abu Dhabi (Seha).
“Emergency medicine is fundamental to the health and well-being of all nations — the need for robust emergency care systems is needed more than ever before,” said Dr Saleh Al Ali in a statement released by Seha.
“I am truly humbled to have been granted the opportunity to work alongside an esteemed group of international emergency medicine leaders for the benefit of the global community.”
The election took place in Melbourne and included 54 participating countries.
Dr Saleh Al Ali will sit on the Ifem board and work with other international health organisations to improve global emergency medical care, while also sharing the Emirates' experience with health care.
“Once again, Abu Dhabi has proved its invaluable national capabilities across the healthcare sector and beyond due to the endless support we continuously receive from the UAE’s wise leadership,” said Abdulla Al Hamed, chairman of Seha.
“This is a testament to Dr Saleh Al Ali’s restless efforts in advancing the field of emergency medicine in Abu Dhabi and the world.
“He’s been a valuable member at the department and has massively contributed to its strategic initiatives that strengthen the Emirate’s position as a pioneering healthcare destination globally.”
Dr Saleh Al Ali completed his residency in emergency medicine at McGill University in Canada, followed by a prehospital care fellowship at the University of Toronto and a disaster medicine fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston — a teaching hospital connected to Harvard Medical School.
He afterwards obtained his doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on healthcare management and leadership. He is the founder and past president of the Emirates Society of Emergency Medicine.
Ifem is a global membership-based organisation promoting high-quality emergency medical care for all people.
The Australia-based organisation is the largest emergency medicine non-profit in the world.