ABU DHABI: The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Viatris, a global healthcare company dedicated to empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life.

The MoU is in line with DoH's efforts to further strengthen its position as a leading destination for healthcare, and to develop a strong home-grown healthcare workforce.

The agreement aims to introduce an innovative upskilling programme to strengthen the skills of healthcare professionals, with a special focus on primary healthcare doctors in areas of early detection, diagnosis, and management of patients’ mental health disorders.

The agreement focuses on providing primary care physicians with comprehensive medical education resources through a digitally advanced platform. Many of the resources focus on common mental health concerns related to non-communicable diseases, including psychosis, dementia, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, substance use, and child and adolescent psychiatric disorders.

The upskilling platform will employ a three-stage methodology focusing on capacity building, potential development, and expert recommendations for optimal mental healthcare.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Rashed Obaid Alsuwaidi, Executive Director of the Healthcare Workforce Planning Sector at the DoH, and Tamer El-Sallab, Head of GCC and Levant Viatris, in the presence of Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Under-Secretary of the DoH, and representatives of the company, including Ayman Mokhtar, Regional President MENA and EURASIA Viatris, Dr. Urooj Siddiqui, Head of Medical Affairs, Gulf Cooperation Council and Levant Viatris, and Darein Hassan Head of Corporate Affairs for Gulf and Levant Viatris.

Dr. Alsuwaidi said, “Partnerships like this serve as a testament to the DoH’s commitment to collaborating with strategic partners and uniting our efforts to further advance and accelerate the quality of healthcare services in Abu Dhabi. This collaboration aligns with our continuous efforts to invest in human capital and to further upskill our primary care physicians by providing them with the opportunities and abilities to offer mental health services to all community members. These services align with international best practices, supporting the Department’s vision of ‘A Healthier Abu Dhabi’, and cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading global destination for healthcare.”

Ayman Mokhtar commented, “Viatris is proud to officialise a collaboration with the DoH, joined by a common vision to prioritise our community's mental and physical well-being. Through this collaboration, experts will share knowledge and resources that empower primary care physicians to provide access to the appropriate medical care for patients with mental health conditions.”

Tamer El-Sallab added, “Empowering primary care physicians with expertise in mental health is essential for a healthier community. This collaboration will support the optimal identification and management of mental health conditions on time and via a more holistic approach. We aim to contribute to a healthier future where mental health and wellbeing are prioritised, understood, and treated with utmost care."