Despite several initiatives to increase the number of Emiratis working in healthcare in the UAE, the Gulf state is still heavily reliant on expat medical workers, it has been claimed.
UAE daily paper the National reports that efforts to increase the number of Emiratis working in the sector have had manifest benefits for the overall health of the nation, but claimed that more work in this area is needed.
Speaking to the paper, Dr Ali al Numairy, the president of the Emirates Medical Association, explained: "Of course, there are areas such as preventive medicine where UAE nationals would be a help; they understand the culture and problems."
The healthcare executive added that, although there are no official statistics recording the number of Emiratis in the sector, it is likely that only between 10 and 20 per cent of positions are filled by nationals.
Speaking to the paper separately, Dr Abdulla al Khayat, the chief executive of Al Wasl hospital in Dubai, called for greater incentives, pay and working conditions to entice more Emiratis into the sector.
For foreign workers living in the UAE, taking out expat healthcare insurance may be an effective way to ensure access to high-quality treatment.