ABU DHABI // The UAE is set to become the first country in the region with a unified national database of patients’ medical records after the Cabinet backed its establishment on Sunday.
To be implemented over the coming four years, it aims to unify all medical records across the emirates to ease the movement of patients between healthcare providers as well as connecting public hospitals and clinics.
This is hoped to lead to a streamlining and improvement of the healthcare system, reducing registration times, medication errors and lengths of hospital stays.
“Improving the healthcare services will never stop, as the health of our citizens is our utmost priority,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who led the Cabinet’s meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.
“We want healthcare services to reach patients no matter where they are in the country, to realise a high-quality standard of living for our people and ensure their health requirements are met.”
Although the UAE has already established national health databases they have been disease-specific up to this point.
Registries for cancer, genetic diseases and organ donors exist in some form but an overarching database had only previously been discussed.
“This is something we need desperately. It would be amazing for the country,” said Mirey Karavetian, an assistant professor of nutrition at Zayed University in Dubai.
Ms Karavetian said a national database was essential in diagnosing what the problems in the health system were and how to address them.
The Cabinet also approved an initiative on mobile healthcare services to provide them in remote areas through home-care treatment and outpatient speciality clinics. These services would target senior citizens and the disabled.