Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 25 February, 2019: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President, Dubai Health Authority, His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, today officially opened the 6th edition of the International Family Medicine Conference, which is taking place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) from the 25th to the 27th of February, 2019. The 3-day family medicine conference held under the theme ‘Improving Patient Care with Innovation and Technology’ brings together top-notch speakers, primary healthcare specialists, professors and expert physicians in Dubai, who aim to offer their unique insights into the most important issues facing family physicians.
This year, IFM is expected to attract more than 3,000 visitors and participants from various countries over the 3 days, while also witnessing the attendance of 50 international speakers. In addition, the conference features 38 scientific sessions and 2 hands-on workshops specifically designed for clinical practitioners working in the industry. With the aim of improving the knowledge of students and professionals, IFM is also showcasing 50 scientific posters as well as a number of scientific presentations and research studies on a variety of topics related to family medicine. Furthermore, conference attendees get a chance to earn 20.5 CME credit points from UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP).
During his keynote address, His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, said, “In the past few years, the medical field has witnessed an increasing demand in family medicine services (in terms of prevention, diagnostics, and treatment) and the world has faced qualitative leaps on different levels, including the medical practices and modern techniques, which played a pivotal role in strengthening the position of this important medical specialty. Keeping this in mind, International Family Medicine Conference which is a highly specialized scientific event, features a rich comprehensive agenda focusing on the latest developments and advancements in the healthcare field, such as, Artificial Intelligence as well as the application of smart digital medical devices and equipment.”
He added, “Dubai Health Authority strongly believes that in order to achieve a healthier and more prosperous society, we must provide an integrated and comprehensive family care. DHA is also certain that in order to build a healthy family, all the related bodies related to health care must join hands in achieving this goal, including the educational, health and community institutions. Continuing further, DHA is keen to pursue its goals and implement it in our policy and work methodology in order to enhance the quality of life and achieve a better health future for all.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Khalid AlQumaizi, Consultant of Family Medicine, MOH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “International Family Medicine Conference presents us a great opportunity to come together and share knowledge and experience and learn best practices from experts in the field of family medicine in the UAE and abroad. As family care physicians we need a primary health care system that empowers people and communities as owners of their health, advocates policies that promote and protect people in need and addresses the social, economic, environmental and commercial elements of health through evidence-based policies and actions across all sectors. The future of primary health care will be safe and secure if political will is combined with the vast pool of scientific knowledge while also ensuring the optimal utilization of technology and resources keeping the interests of local communities and hospitals in mind.”
On his part, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of International Family Medicine Conference, said, “The UAE is a pioneer in the field of healthcare, providing the best health services and offering top quality care which meets international standards. Family Medicine is one of the most important sectors of healthcare in the UAE, which focuses on diagnosing, managing and preventing a wide range of health problems in an evidence-based manner. As organizers of this highly scientific conference, we recognize the need to create a unique platform for top family care physicians and experts to discuss the top most concerns in family medicine and we are highly confident that IFM will serve this purpose and help in knowledge dissemination.”
He added, “I thank our esteemed doctors, specialists and expert family care physicians coming from across the globe whose consistent support for IFM has played a key role in its success over the past many years. As the UAE aims to build a world class healthcare system that meets international standards, we believe the expertise of top-notch family care practitioners and world-renowned specialists in Dubai will greatly help in sharing of knowledge and experiences. I am highly confident that IFM’s unique platform will address the challenges faced by family care physicians and help us in building a viable roadmap for the future of healthcare in the UAE.”
Commenting on the top healthcare concerns in the UAE and the latest treatment practices prevalent in the healthcare industry, Dr. Ibtesam Al Bastaki, Conference Chairperson, IFM, said, “IFM aims to focus its attention on common healthcare concerns and diseases which are having a major impact on the UAE population. In the UAE, cardiovascular disease is widely prevalent and is the leading cause of death while diabetes, hypertension and smoking are other key concerns impacting people. In this conference, we will not only address these highly relevant topics and explore the underlying causes of major diseases in detail but also focus on how advanced technologies and the access to high quality pharmaceutical medicines are creating new treatment opportunities.”
She added, “This year, IFM features a rich comprehensive agenda with a particular focus of improving the knowledge base of all conference attendees. Keeping this in mind, our scientific committee has designed a number of activities on the sidelines of the conference including a number of discussions, case studies and high-quality research papers on a number of diseases particularly impacting patients in the region. As part of our goal to establish an internationally recognized family medicine congress in the UAE, we believe that IFM will provide a unique atmosphere for greater interaction, exchange of knowledge and unique insights.”
On the first day, IFM conference featured in-depth discussions on a number of key trending topics in family medicine such as Value-Based Healthcare, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Depression with many faces, Why attachment and bonding matters in primary care?, Early detection of Depression, Diabetes, Obesity – what to do if conservative treatment fails?, Neurology, 2019 Migraine Updates, Recent advances in early differential diagnosis of Multi Sclerosis and a key note session on ‘Enhancement of Primary Healthcare within Saudi Health Transformation’.
While the conference is featuring an exclusive discussion on ‘telehealth and how it is transforming the healthcare regional landscape in the GCC, recent studies suggest that there is surely a great appetite for the introduction of telehealth in the UAE. According to the UAE based healthcare institution Health at Hand’s UAE Telehealth report, an increasing number of patients in the UAE, find video consultation with the doctors encouraging as well as a fast and effective way of accessing medical advice for non-emergency minor illnesses.
International Family Medicine Conference (IFM) is organized annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding and is supported by the Ministry of Health & Prevention in the UAE, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Global Scientific Healthcare Alliance, Health Ministers Council for Gulf Cooperation Council States, International Hospital Federation, Anti-Smoking International Alliance, INDEX Healthcare Management, and Dubai Sports Council.