Dubai: The Cabinet decision on making nursing more appealing as a vocation for Emiratis and introducing early cancer detection protocols for Emiratis has been welcomed by health-care professionals as a pioneering step.
Alisha Moopen, CEO of Aster DM Health Care Hospitals and Clinics, said that with the UAE being poised for a take-off on the medical tourism sector, having more Emirati nurses would be a very positive step.
“The first line of medical tourists to come to the UAE are going to be from the GCC and other Arab countries,” he added.
From the patient’s perspective, he noted, this step will boost the comfort levels as it will be culturally very appealing to them.
Moopen said the reason why nursing was not so appealing for Emirati women was the challenges of the profession such as the timing, the long working hours and the cultural sensitivities.
“If the government is working on addressing issues that make this vocation challenging such as introducing more jobs for Emirati nurses in gynaecology and paediatrics, for instance, it might be a great help as nursing is a very noble profession and has been as appealing as the army and aviation for Emiratis from the beginning,” he said.
Doctors also welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to launch early cancer detection programme. Early screening of cancer increases the chances of survival very dramatically and will also help bring down the cost of treatment, say experts.
Dr Mohanad Diab, consultant medical oncologist, NMC Speciality Hospital in Abu Dhabi, described this Cabinet decision as a key game-changer in the treatment and management of cancer in the UAE.
“Cancers such as colorectal, breast, lung and prostate are on the rise in the UAE and both genders have seen a proliferation of the disease. The most important issue in treatment and management of cancer is that when it is detected in the metasised stage [advanced stage] it is not only more expensive and prolonged treatment but the chances of survival are reduced.”
Dr Diab said that greater awareness would help preventive care and bring down fatalities due to cancer.
“This programme will have a great impact in reducing the government’s budget on these diseases. Right now treatment of a metasised cancer comes to a minimum of Dh200,000 per case. When cancer is caught early and treated, expenses come down to Dh50,000 per person which will have a great impact in reducing the overall expenditure on cancer management,” he said.