With a final agreement expected to be signed around 21 September in the UAE, Yoel Hareven, Director of Sheba International at Sheba Medical Center, says the MOU will pave the way for co-operation on medical innovation, professional training, medical travel and Covid-19 treatment.
A joint statement from Sheba and APEX also announced that the Israeli hospital and the Abu-Dhabi-based company would form an innovation hub in the Gulf based on Sheba's big data platform.
Israel to gain popularity as a destination for international patient care
Thanks to the new partnership, Hareven believes that there will be a boost in medical travel to Israel – once travel restrictions begin to ease again.
“There is limited knowledge and lots of complicated cases that are sent outside the UAE, so now they will have a new solution that is closer than Europe, and cheaper than the US,” Hareven told the Times of Israel. “It’s welcoming, as so many medical staff speak Arabic. It can be almost home away from home.”
Telehealth to facilitate a joint Covid-19 response
The MOU will also see APEX and Sheba Medical Center co-operate in the fight against Covid-19 by utilising Sheba’s telehealth solutions, which will also allow international patient care to be maintained. "We've embedded existing Israeli telemedicine technology, which allows us to provide medical care to coronavirus patients while minimising risk to the medical teams – this is of great interest to the Emirates," Hareven commented.
A 'harbinger of peace and prosperity’
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman noted that ‘it is fitting that the first significant partnership between Israel and the UAE is in healthcare’; and Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director-General of Sheba Medical Center also concurred: “[The MOU will] change the dynamics of health care and innovation in the UAE, [and] act as a harbinger of peace and prosperity in the Gulf region and beyond.”