UAE – The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Viatris have linked up to introduce an innovative upskilling programme to strengthen the skills of mental health professionals.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr. Rashed Obaid Alsuwaidi, Executive Director of the Healthcare Workforce Planning Sector at the DoH, and Tamer El-Sallab, Head of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Levant region at Viatris.

In a news release, Tamer El-Sallab, Head of GCC and Levant Viatris said: “Empowering primary care physicians with expertise in mental health is essential for a healthier community.”

As specified in this MoU, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health and Viatris will provide primary care physicians with comprehensive medical education resources through a digitally advanced platform.

The upcoming upskilling programme has a special focus on primary healthcare doctors in areas of early detection, diagnosis and management of patients’ mental health disorders.

Through this collaboration, experts will share knowledge and resources that empower primary care physicians to provide access to the appropriate medical care for patients living with mental health conditions.

The comprehensive resources will cover common mental health concerns related to non-communicable diseases, including psychosis, dementia, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, substance use, and child and adolescent psychiatric disorders.

This collaboration will support optimal identification and management of mental health conditions in a timely manner, and via a more holistic approach. We aim to contribute to a healthier future where mental health and wellbeing are prioritized, understood, and treated with utmost care,” outlined Tamer El-Sallab.

Additionally, the advanced upskilling platform will employ a three-stage methodology that focusses on capacity building, potential development, and expert recommendations for optimal mental health care.

This platform represents a pivotal step forward in enhancing patient care, prioritizing both the mental and physical wellbeing of communities and, consequently, the overall health of Abu Dhabi’s population.

The joint initiative comes as a result of the DoH’s continued efforts to further strengthen its position as a leading destination for healthcare, and to develop a strong home-grown healthcare workforce.

Guided by a mission to elevate patient experiences, this initiative places the patient journey at its core, beginning with strengthening the competencies of primary care physicians and healthcare professionals to deliver world-class clinical services.

The goal is to ensure that patients have access to high-quality healthcare, including both medication regimens and consultations. Moreover, the collaboration will prove pivotal in further cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading global destination for healthcare.

It serves as a testament to the DoH’s commitment to collaborating with strategic partners and uniting its efforts to further advance and accelerate the quality of healthcare services in Abu Dhabi.

For his part, Dr. Rashed Obaid Alsuwaidi, Executive Director of the Healthcare Workforce Planning Sector at the DoH, explained that the wide array of mental health services adheres to the best international practices, in support the Department’s vision of ‘A Healthier Abu Dhabi’.

This collaboration comes in line with our continuous efforts to invest in human capital, and to further upskill our primary care physicians by providing them with the opportunities and abilities to offer mental health services to all community members,” said Dr. Rashed Obaid Alsuwaidi.

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