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One in every four healthcare professionals and 50 percent of all nurses in the United Arab Emirates’ capital is a Filipino.

This was revealed by Department of Health Abu Dhabi Section Head of Healthcare Professional Licensing Dr. Abdulla Hamed Kazim in his opening speech at the The Filipino Times (TFT) Watchlist Top Filipino Healthcare Professionals Summit and Awards 2023.

The event recognized 108 top Filipino healthcare professionals, who were named winners of the first TFT Watchlist Healthcare Awards. Organized by New Perspective Media Group, this is the biggest gathering of Filipino healthcare professionals in the region.

The winners are from six Middle Eastern countries: Bahrain (1), Iraq (1), Saudi Arabia (11), Kuwait (3), Qatar (3), and United Arab Emirates (89).

With over 400 nominations received, these nominees underwent a rigorous selection process, based on their career excellence, leadership in their respective fields, innovative contributions to enhancing the quality of care, and dedication to their profession.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Alfonso Ferdinand Ver said, “The bilateral relations between the Philippines and the UAE are growing in breadth and depth — from cooperation in space, agriculture, investment protection, and promotion. This is made possible thanks to the efforts of our overseas Filipinos’ medical and allied professionals who have shown their world-class quality and their natural knack for nurturing and caring.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Abdulla Hamed Kazim, Section Head of Healthcare Professional Licensing at the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, said, “As of September 22, 2023, there are 60,000 healthcare professionals registered in Abu Dhabi, and 25 percent of this contributes to Filipino nationals alone. If that’s not a significant number, I don’t know what is. In the nursing workforce, we have 50 percent of our health care professionals in nursing, and 40 percent of our nursing workforce are Filipinos.”

“The entire Filipino community have brought their skills and their rich cultural diversity to the UAE and have added to the cultural tapestry of this country, fostering a sense of inclusivity and understanding between our countries. They have not only enhanced the quality of healthcare services, but they played an essential role in strengthening the bonds between our nations,” he added.

Dr. Karen Remo, CEO and Founder of New Perspective Media Group, and Chair of The Filipino Times Watchlist, meanwhile, said, “This momentous event showcases the remarkable talents of Filipino healthcare professionals, recognising not only their technical contributions to the global healthcare landscape, but also the heart and soul that they pour into this noble profession.” (PNA)