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HCT in talks to open nursing branch in India

The UAE institution could soon open a training college for nurses in India in what would be the first time the country has exported its healthcare expertise.

ABU DHABI // A UAE institution could soon open a training college for nurses in India in what would be the first time the country has exported its healthcare expertise. The faculty of health sciences at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi is in the final stages of talks with a hospital in Bangalore to open a training facility for nurses and other essential medical staff, with a curriculum based on the HCT's model.

Dr Tayeb Kamali, the vice chancellor at the HCT, said: "Globally there is a shortage of nurses and the other individuals who manage the patient side of things in hospitals. "Because of this we have been in discussions with Dr Devi Shetty, a doctor based in southern India, to take our teaching model and replicate it over there. "With our curriculum and our resources we can produce a number of nurses in the city."

Dr Kamali said it would be beneficial to both countries. Nurses in India would be brought up to the international standard followed by the HCT training programme, while many of the nurses would come to work in the Emirates once trained. "The nursing programme is very complicated and very capital intensive, so to recruit and train students for a nursing school is not an easy task," he said. "However, India is known for its large human resources across all sectors, and we are working jointly in terms of those resources."

The facility, due to open in the autumn near to the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital, will be managed by staff from the Emirates. Initially the trainee nurses will all be based in India, but in future it is possible that students from the HCT would travel to the facility to complete internships. "Since we set up in 1987 we have had many requests from other countries to take the HCT model, but we decided to go to India because there are so many people who need good medical care and we want to do everything we can to provide support for them," he said.

Pamela Cawley, the associate dean of the faculty, said the move indicated that the UAE was becoming a forerunner within the field. "The is the first time that we have outsourced any of our programmes, and it is a real indicator that the UAE will become a leader rather than a follower of the field," she said. Ms Cawley pointed out that currently 95 per cent of the medical staff in the UAE were expatriates.

"What we are missing is a large core of resident experts that other countries like Canada or the US has," she said. "With the HCT programmes we are hoping to redress that balance." aseaman@thenational.ae

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