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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Stephanie D. Short, Nikhil Hawal, Nasser Sai Albusaidi and Farah Purwaningrum

The purpose of this paper is to identify the elements of effective policies and processes to inform future health professional regulation reforms and practice in the Emirates.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the elements of effective policies and processes to inform future health professional regulation reforms and practice in the Emirates.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on qualitative exploratory methodology. Methods of data collection and analysis included document analysis of the relevant literature, newspapers (as featured on their online websites), policy documents and official statistics. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders, including employers in the health and higher education sectors in Ras Al Khaimah, human resources managers, regulators and public health professionals and scholars.

Findings

This paper brings to light the issues of maldistribution of the medical workforce, Emiritisation and examines implications for more effective medical workforce governance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Originality/value

First, the study provides policy recommendations for medical workforce governance in the context of UAE. Next, empirical studies on health workforce governance in the Middle East’s Gulf Cooperation Council are lacking and primarily focus on the international mobility of expatriates. The study addresses the lack of empirical studies on this topic in the UAE. Third, the UAE is a fertile ground for research on medical workforce governance and, more broadly, the mobility of health professionals due to its economic diversification strategy and thriving medical tourism industry.

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