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Healthcare workers told 'rate your job'

Health workers are being asked to air their views on working in the UAE, as part of an initiative to improve employment conditions for staff.

Health workers are being asked to air their views on working in the UAE, as part of an initiative to improve working conditions for staff.

In the first poll of its kind, workers are being asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire grading their level of job satisfaction and giving their views on health services in the region. The survey will cover issues such as on-the-job
training, salary and benefits.

The move is part of a government-funded initiative to commemorate World Health Day, celebrated annually under the flag of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year, the WHO asked countries to address healthcare shortages and provide better incentives for workers. In a statement, it called for more direct investment in the training and support of health workers.

The survey was launched at the Dubai World Health Day forum, where 50 healthcare workers from the private and government sector were invited to attend workshops.

Speaking at the event, Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, minister of health, said: “We are trying to provide society with a better service. Today is about supporting healthcare workers and finding out how to help them.”

Dr Aisha Al Muttawa, director of the central department of health education at the ministry, said the results of the poll would help the Government to identify areas that could be improved. “For any initiative, you need ground information,” she said. “The survey will give us information that we can build upon.”

Mary Williams, a pharmacist from Dubai, said the government should provide subsidised housing for healthcare workers, or increase their salaries to reflect increased living costs. Williams, who qualified in the USA, told Healthcare Middle East: “My salary is too low. Rents and food prices in Dubai are so expensive now I can’t afford to live here.

“I would like a residence near the pharmacy. I live in Sharjah and I have to leave home at 6am to open the pharmacy at 8am. I don’t get home again until 8pm so I hardly see my family. The traffic is very bad so I’m also very stressed.”

Williams also believes more focus should be put on continuing medical education (CME), saying the UAE compares unfavourably with the USA in that respect. “There is not enough access to training here,” she said.

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