Representative Image of a Hospital
Representative Image of a Hospital 1662222/Pixabay

Abu Dhabi's Department of Health (DoH) has launched a program for 100 Emirati physicians working in different health care facilities across the country to upskill the national health care workforce.

The Clinical Genomic Medicine and Genetic Counselling Programme was launched on Wednesday in partnership with the International Center for Genetic Disease (iCGD), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

Present at the inaugural ceremony were DoH Chairman Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, DoH Undersecretary Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Khalifa University President Prof. Sir John O'Reilly, Khalifa University Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Homaid Al Shimmari and representatives of local and global partners.

"Abu Dhabi has positioned itself as the region's leading destination for health care and innovation in life sciences," Al Ghaithi said at the event, WAM reported.

She went on to explain that the department's "constant pursuit of partnerships with renowned global partners lets Abu Dhabi "improve its health care regularly and ensure that the quality of life is elevated in the Emirate and beyond."

"Abu Dhabi is committed to empowering national competencies, by ensuring that they have access to leading experts and sharing the necessary knowledge and skills in innovative fields, such as genomics, leveraging the Emirate's advanced capabilities and its infrastructure," she added.

The DoH undersecretary further shared that this program comes as a continuation of DoH's collaboration with iCGD and Harvard Medical School, which started earlier this year.

She continued, "This comes in line with the DoH's efforts to unlock opportunities for local talents and ensure the sustainability of our health care sector. These continuous strides further cement Abu Dhabi's position as a leading destination for health care."

Dr. Robert S.D. Higgins, president of Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital - Brigham and Women's Hospital and executive vice president at Mass General Brigham, expressed his pleasure to collaborate with one of the "largest genomic medicine training programs."

He said this training program will "boost the capacity in genomics and genetics" in the UAE, adding that the positive impact of this initiative will be extended beyond the country.

O'Reilly shared the same sentiments about the newly launched program, noting, "Developments in this area represent a tremendous leap towards empowering individuals with a profound understanding of their own genetic tapestry."

Consisting of 45 to 55 lectures that will be delivered in a span of six months, the program will ensure that the participating 100 physicians will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to solve genetic and genomic challenges.