Private healthcare companies are ready to recruit more Emiratis after the government launched the National Healthcare Programme (NHP) on Sunday.
The programme is part of Nafis, the nationwide talent enhancement scheme that was announced as part of the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’.
The NHP targets to develop the skills of 10,000 Emirati healthcare workers in the next five years and provide them with careers in the private sector, said Ghannam Al Mazrouei, secretary-general of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council.
“The programme will be rolling out a graduate healthcare assistant programme; a higher diploma in emergency medicine; and a bachelor’s degree in nursing,” said Al Mazrouei.
Heads of private healthcare groups hailed the initiative, saying such a programme will train a new generation of Emirati professionals and specialists and solve some of the challenges that organisations face in hiring UAE nationals.
Among those looking to recruit and develop Emiratis is Aster DM Healthcare.
Aster DM Healthcare currently employs 20 Emiratis, 12 of whom were hired in the 2021 Emiratisation programme. “They were hired as customer care executives across our business units, especially in Medcare, considering the patient profiles,” explained Dr Moopen.
“Most of the hires come with one to two years of experience, in the retail and hospitality industries. The job profile revolves around providing a positive patient and customer experience and journey,” he added.
At VPS Healthcare Group, hiring Emirati professionals is also a priority.
Another group — NMC Healthcare — has a 12,000-strong UAE workforce, according to its CEO Michael Brenden Davis. “The prospect of utilising up to 1,200 Emiratis in areas of clinical care, administration, and leadership is exciting for us."
Challenges in hiring Emiratis
The limited number trained Emirati healthcare professionals is among the main recruitment challenges faced by the private sector, Dr Moopen said.
Al Khoori said that when it comes to healthcare, the number of Emirati nurses and technicians are less.
“However, we believe the new scheme addresses the issue. It aims to encourage a greater number of Emiratis to choose nursing and allied careers. This would fix the gap. Also, the Nafis scheme makes private-sector jobs attractive to Emirati professionals,” he explained.
How hospitals will adopt Nafis
Aster DM Healthcare will closely partner with the government in mapping out career paths for Emiratis, be it for clinical or non-clinical streams, said Dr Moopen.
“To start with, we are aiming to have Emiratis fill 10 per cent of our skilled roles within the next five years,” he added.
“Our current strategy looks at actively partnering with universities for internship and Emirati graduate programmes. This would span across roles such as customer service executives, healthcare professionals across nursing and clinicians.”
Aster DM’s Emirati on-board programme is a two-month journey. “The first four weeks are focused on operational and skill development and the next four weeks is focused on the job training. Through internships, we are also planning to provide Emiratis with a first-hand experience of providing superior patient and customer care,” said Dr Moopen.
VPS Healthcare Group has already established several programmes which provide training for future medical professionals.
“Majority of the beneficiaries of these programmes have been Emiratis. We have initiated student internship programmes, in coordination with different prestigious universities in the region,” said Al Khoori.