Dubai plans retirement homes for expats as well as Emiratis
As part of a scheme aimed at increasing the number of medical tourists to Dubai, the Emirate is planning to set up retirement homes for expats as well as Emirati nationals.
The retirement homes will come in three styles, independent retirement homes, nursing homes giving full medical care and assisted living homes. According to local publications, they will be located in a special zone, the Continuing Care Retirement Community, along with a 400-bed facility involving a medical teaching centre.
According to the CEO of Healthcare City, Marwan Abdin, the facility will be dedicated to education and the creation of a pool of qualified, professional health workers and doctors in the region. Recent reports by Western media state that a shortage of healthcare skills in the Gulf State is resulting in dependence on expatriates to fill essential jobs.
Saudi Health Ministry has signed a partnership agreement with BMJ, one of the world’s leading medical knowledge providers, to provide unrestricted access to its online learning, decision support tools, quality improvement platform and journals for health professionals across the Kingdom.
The five-year “Executive Agreement for Cooperation in Health Learning and research” was signed recently during a ceremony at the Department of Health in London in the presence of Saudi Health Minster Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and the UK’s Undersecretary of State for Health, Anne Soubry.
The agreement comes in line with the Saudi government’s 20-years workforce transformation strategy to improve the consistency and quality of healthcare throughout the Kingdom.
Speaking at the ceremony, Al Rabeeah said that online services are being introduced to help medics and paramedics stay up-to-date with the latest advances in the field of medicine.
Thousands of healthcare professionals employed by MoH hospitals, National Guard, Ministry of Defence and Aviation, Ministry of Interior and private hospitals will benefit from open access to a selection of BMJ’s renowned evidence-based journals, learning, decision support and quality improvement resources, he stated.
BMJ Chief Executive Tim Brooks said: “The agreement provides clinicians across the Kingdom with the very best tools to develop their knowledge and skills, practice evidence-based medicine, and improve outcomes for their patients, with access to medical information covering 10,000 topics in over 20 specialities.”
“The BMJ is committed to achieving high quality, evidence-based healthcare for patients throughout the world. BMJ are very proud that the Kingdom has chosen to collaborate with them on this important project and they look forward to sharing their expertise with the medical workforce of this country,” he added.
The deal provides the MoH professionals with open access to resources such as BMJ Best Practice, offering fast and easy access to the latest research evidence, guidelines and expert opinions at the point of care - in hospital, at the clinic or on a mobile device, enabling clinicians to make the best decisions for their patients.
Clinicians will also have free on-line access to seven key BMJ Journals covering the latest research, news and expert opinion: Heart, Gut, DTB (Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin), EMJ (Emergency Medicine Journal), British Journal of Ophthalmology, BJSM (British Journal of Sports Medicine) and Journal of Clinical Pathology.
Another major resource is BMJ Learning, which is a fully accredited online learning module covering over 1,000 medical specialties and clinical areas, allowing clinicians to study at their own pace and convenience. This includes an online platform which supports individuals and teams through healthcare improvement projects and onto publication in the BMJ Quality Improvement Reports journal.
“This provides the necessary framework, learning modules, tools and resources to make healthcare improvement simple,” said Brooks.
Expat workers arriving in Bahrain from January 1 will be given a free mobile Sim card with BD1 ($2.6) credit, the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) announced.
The scheme, a joint venture between the LMRA and telecommunications company Viva Bahrain, is described as the first of its kind in the world, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It aims to keep new arrivals informed of their rights and responsibilities, give them regular updates on the status of their work visa and provide them with a Bahraini telephone number from the moment they first enter the country.
"The LMRA is going to dispense Sim cards at the airport for all permit-holding expat workers upon their arrival," LMRA chief executive Ausamah Al Absi told a press conference at the organisation'sSanabis headquarters yesterday.
"Through this, we will populate our database with the telephone numbers of those workers, which will enable us to communicate more effectively with them."
The new service will help protect workers' human rights, prevent them from becoming victims of illegal practices and combat human trafficking, Al Absi said.
"We are trying to fight trafficking in a big way and that's one of our major goals for 2014," he added.
"We are trying to combat the situation of illegal workers as well.
"It is in our interest that they approach us and ask 'how can I rectify this' because we have many solutions.
"But they fear us and will not come to us. So maybe this is one of the ways we can tell them 'we are not out to get you' - unless they insist on breaking the law."
Viva chief executive Ulaiyan Al Wetaid said his company was delighted to be involved in the programme.
"Through this unique partnership, Viva will assist the LMRA in easing foreign workers' mobility and support the government in its protection of overseas workers' rights and duties," he said.
Funding for the scheme is coming from Viva's corporate social responsibility programme and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed yesterday "is a non-financial agreement that stems from the fact that (Viva) wants to give back to the community and we wanted to avail ourselves of that," Al Absi said.
Since its creation in 2008, the LMRA has launched a call centre hotline (17506065) and SMS information service to keep companies, business owners and expatriate workers up-to-date on the renewal process of their work permits. To date, nearly 124,000 expats have used the SMS service.
In line with its' mission to enhance the quality of land, sea, and air transport in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Ministry of Transportation signed a $34.5 million contract with the globally renowned engineering and design firm Aéroport de Paris Ingérierie (ADPi).
As per the agreement, ADPi will serve as design and engineering consultant for the Airport ModernisationProgramme, which was developed by the Ministry and is expected to increase the airport's capacity to 13.5 million passengers a year.
HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board, welcomed the signing: "This announcement marks the start of an expedited process to achieve the aim of an airport that fully matches the demands of Bahrain's economy. We are confident that with the assistance of ADPi, we can deliver an airport with the highest specification that will improve the level of services available and security, alongside the much needed increase in capacity."
Mohamed Yousif Al- Binfalah, CEO, Bahrain Airport Company added: "The development plans we have in place are essential for stimulating the growth of the aviation and logistics sectors as well as the overall business scene in the Kingdom. By improving the travel experience and creating more business opportunities with a mixture of aeronautical and non-aeronautical services, we strive to increase the airport's profitability and enhance its contribution in the local economy. With ADPi's vast experience and track-record of achievements, we are confident that we will create ideal solutions to serve the airport's development."
Oman is set to limit the proportion of expatriates working in the private sector from 39 to 33 per cent, said a report.
The initiative comes as part of an effort to increase the percentage of national manpower in the private sector and to rationalise the recruitment of expatriates, said the Gulf News report.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower outlined the decisions.
He pointed out that intensive efforts were made last year by the government, in close cooperation with representatives of businessmen, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Oman General Trade Union, to regularise the labour market, update its legislations and provide job opportunities for citizens to enhance their contribution to the development process, meet the needs of the private sectors in terms of manpower, develop work inspection, regularise business relations among production stakeholders and enhance the technical education and vocational training fields.
The labour market regularization comes in response to the demographic changes witnessed by the Omani labour market, he said.
Other measures taken by the ministry to regularise the national manpower and increase its share at the private sector included increasing the minimum salary to RO 325 ($842), amending the pension system of the Public Authority for Social Insurance, standardising the weekly off days and approving not less than three per cent annual increment, said Sheikh Abdullah.
The ministry will complete the electronic linkage with the respective authority to regularise the labour market and issue the expatriates' clearances electronically, he added.
Algeria is slowly becoming a more welcoming destination for expatriates. Both multinational and local businesses are investing in the capital, with large corporations such as PepsiCo, Lays and KPMG opening new branches. To make life of foreigners even more enjoyable, a large shopping center Bab ezzouarh as opened its doors for customers. The Mall has many boutiques, a hairdresser, bank and the first Hypermarket in Algeria.