Ministry of Health launches first scientific Geriatric Homecare Conference
The Ministry of Health launched the first scientific Geriatric Homecare Conference in the presence of H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Centers and Clinics, during a press conference held today (Thursday, October 1, 2015) at the Al Hayat Regency Hotel, Dubai. The conference reflects the Ministry’s commitment to address the growing demand for elderly home health care by providing physicians and medical professionals with the necessary training and knowledge of the latest practices in the field, which is a crucial national initiative.
Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand said: “The launch of the first scientific Geriatric Homecare Conference reflects the Ministry's active efforts to find innovative solutions for meeting the needs of the elderly and providing health care professionals with the necessary training, which is of particular importance to the wise leadership of the UAE. This event reflects the growing national interest in this demographic and the efforts of the Ministry to develop primary and secondary health services in accordance with the highest international standards to ensure a healthy life for all members of the UAE society, including the elderly who are in need of special care to ensure their privacy, safety and comfort.”
Dr. Al Rand added: “The Ministry of Health remains committed to developing initiatives for enhancing services and the provision of home health care to the elderly currently being offered by the national government. These services aim to provide the elderly with access to the best customized treatments at home after regular visits to specialized care centers. Mobile teams composed of doctors, medical experts and nurses visit the homes of the elderly and follow up on their health with the help of family members. They also provide the necessary health care within a safe and comfortable family environment that will grant patients peace of mind.”
The World Health Organization commended the home care program developed and implemented by the Ministry across the country. The program offers specialized home health care services for the elderly, particularly for those who find it difficult to move and are afflicted with chronic diseases, in partnership with institutions such as Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi and "Tawam Hospital" in Al Ain. The Ministry provides home health care services in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Dubai Health Authority, and theMinistry of Social Affairs in Ajman, the Social Services Department in Sharjah, elderly centers, as well as several academic institutions.
The emerging need for home health care is a result of a fast-growing population characterized by an expanding elderly demographic. Statistics show that the number of aged people has notably increased between 1995 and 2010, and is expected to continue its steady rise. This also stems from the need to increase awareness on chronic diseases among the citizens, the high cost of hospital care, as well as rapid technological developments. The home health care program follow-ups up on patients with chronic diseases in order to prevent the progression of their illness. This type of treatment also helps to reduce the mortality rate of the elderly in hospitals, thus providing further assistance to the family.
The program will be first implemented in the Emirate of Fujairah in 2015, targeting 1000 beneficiaries and will expand to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah by end of 2016. The program starts in the emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain in 2017. Each Emirate will have a team of home healthcare workers that includes doctors, nurses, specialists, nutrition and treatment rehabilitation, dentists and administrators. The task force will be increased in each emirate in the following year to cover the growing needs of home health care.
From the services provided: promotive health services, preventive services and curative services and rehabilitation services for the citizens and the elderly in remote areas in the context of primary health care concepts, in addition to nursing services and lab tests.