The UAE Ministry Of Health And Prevention's Saqr Al Hemeiri On Building A Culture Of Innovation "Unifying the vision and aim for these initiatives, and aligning them with a strategic direction, has enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of our individual efforts and innovative contributions."

By Aby Sam Thomas

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Saqr Al Hemeiri, Chief Innovation Officer, UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention

When the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) declared that it wanted to embed innovation in the culture of the UAE's healthcare sector in 2019, it's safe to say that the announcement was received with a fair amount of trepidation- after all, it's one thing to say you want to do things differently, it's another thing altogether to actually put that into action. Building a culture of innovation is bound to be hard for any kind of venture, and one can expect it to be doubly difficult for entities as large and complex as MOHAP- but it is certainly doable, as is evidenced by the achievements the Ministry can now profess to, after following through on its Innovation Health Strategy over the last few years.

Under the leadership of Chief Innovation Officer Saqr Al Hemeiri, this initiative has seen MOHAP launch over 100 projects that are aligned with its various themes. The implementation of the strategy also saw MOHAP double down on its research and development efforts, which resulted in more than 900 papers being published both nationally and internationally. At the same time, more than 9,700 of MOHAP's employees were trained on topics relating to innovation, which resulted in the submission of over 10,000 innovative ideas with the potential to improve the entity's various offerings. MOHAP has also been active in reaching out to regional and international innovators, through activities that include everything from hackathons and exhibitions, to workshops and masterclasses.

"Unifying the vision and aim for these initiatives, and aligning them with a strategic direction, has enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of our individual efforts and innovative contributions," Al Hemeiri says, as he looks back on all what MOHAP has accomplished as a result of its Innovation Health Strategy. "This has surely given our innovators a sense of unity and purpose in their work towards realizing our vision of an innovative healthcare system in the UAE. This unified vision will now form the foundation and platform for our new strategy to be launched for 2071 in alignment with UAE's Centennial Vision."

Related: BE BOLD, The Youth Leadership Program Led By The UAE Ministry Of Health And Prevention In Partnership With Entrepreneur Middle East, Comes To A Close

Source: MOHAP



1. Never work in silos "It is always important to collaborate and work with others- learning from their experiences and forming partnerships will be key to your innovative idea's success in the long run."

2. The customer comes first "Design your ideas to be customer centric. In the case of healthcare specifically, involving patients from the initial design for the idea, and onward to its implementation will increase the chances of success for your idea, as well as its ability to tackle applicability challenges early on."

3. Feasibility matters "We are all aiming for moonshots, but we need to know how to get there. Feasibility is key to ideas and concepts to become reality."

4. Value is key "Whether it's cost savings, enhancements in efficiency, or improvements in quality of life, an innovative idea is defined by its ability to deliver value. Not only will this increase its appeal, stakeholders will more likely to back the idea then."

Related: By Going The Extra Mile For Clients, Saphyte Founder Ali Homadi Is Making His Homegrown MENA Startup Stand Out As A CRM Provider

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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