The Department of Health—Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi, signed a three-month Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Higher Committee of the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. The agreement ensures close collaboration in planning, managing and implementing the event’s necessary medical functions to provide safe and reliable services to delegates, visitors, spectators, and volunteers during the Special Olympics World Games 2019.
H.E. Mohamed Al Hameli, Undersecretary of Department of Health and Mr. Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 joined together in the signing ceremony at the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi. The signing took place in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health and H.E. Mohammed Abdulla Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
Commenting on the MoU, H.E. Mohamed Al Hameli said: “We are pleased to work alongside our partners at the Special Olympics World Games and together contribute to the success of this much-anticipated event. As a first-of-its-kind event for Abu Dhabi, it is of paramount importance that comprehensive, world-class medical support is available on ground. As such as part of this collaboration, DOH will maximise its efforts in order to ensure a positive and safe experience for all fans, visitors and athletes alike.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Department of Health will play a regulatory role to provide medical services during the event through its healthcare and emergency services partners including Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). These medical services include first-aid, field of play healthcare, emergency medical services at all sports venues, airport and hotels in Abu Dhabi. These services will be available in the opening and closing ceremony as well as throughout the path of the iconic Olympics flame.
A number of medical specialists from different healthcare providers in addition to trained volunteers from across the emirates will support in providing the necessary medical support. The medical services at the event will range from ambulance services, primary care services, and specialised medical care in hospitals. The medical operation center will also be available round the clock throughout the duration of the event.
“This agreement comes within the spirit of our existing cooperation with the Special Olympics, an understanding that reinforces the Department of Health’s commitment to ensuring the delivery of high-quality healthcare services for residents and visitors alike.” Al Hameli added.
Earlier this year, DoH collaborated with Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and the U.S. Embassy to organise and host a series of medical training sessions on best practices in treating people of determination. The training was delivered by a team of leading medical practitioners who specialise in treating persons with intellectual disabilities.
Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said: "We are delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi that will contribute to enhancing our efforts to provide the best health services to all of the athletes participating in the World Games Abu Dhabi.
“This strategic partnership is in line with the UAE Government's national agenda for healthcare and contributes to the vision of the UAE 2021 plan to provide a world-class healthcare system with the ultimate aim of ensuring a longer and healthier life for all members of the community, including people of determination and others. "
Taking place from 8-22 March 2019, the event is set to be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world, with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 170 countries. The event will be largest single event ever held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East. The World Games will feature 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in venues throughout Abu Dhabi.