Sunday, November 21, 2021: Canadian University Dubai’s (CUD) Dr. Ahmad Ali Ahmad Okasha, Associate Professor, Faculty of Communication, Arts and Sciences and Dr. David Santandreu Calonge, Associate Professor and Director, Corporate Training, were invited to represent the University in a roundtable discussion at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) eHealth Workforce Development Conference 2021 (eHWDC 2021) that took place at The Conrad Hotel Nov. 7 –8, 2021 under the theme of “The Role of Higher Education in the eHealth Capacity Building”.
When it comes to aligning the public higher-education systems with the workforce needs of a modern economy, state policymakers are aware of a paradox: on the one hand, there is recognition of the need for more people to have college degrees, regardless of subject matter. On the other hand, workforce experts and business leaders agree that there is a "skills gap" wherein individuals with post-secondary education are unable to fill the jobs that are available or find employment consistent with their degrees.
Representatives were invited to attend eHWDC 2021 from leading medical and life science universities, government agencies, hospitals, and companies in the GCC region to discuss what steps must be taken to create sustainable models that will help prepare people with the right skills in eHealth to fill the gaps in the market. A discussion was also held pertaining to what businesses can do to support this new generation and help develop the region’s education system.
Speaking of the experience, Dr. David said: “Our participation in this roundtable was an invaluable opportunity to meet academic and industry leaders to discuss innovative programs, graduates’ skills, upskilling, industry-university collaboration, knowledge transfer, challenges and best practices.”
Dr. Ahmad added: “Now is the time to invest in the eHealth workforce and professional development. The GCC region has been witnessing the procurement of over five major Health Information Exchange(HIE)projects since last year. Being here today as representatives of CUD enables us to bring our innovative approaches to the conversation.”
CUD’s involvement demonstrates the University’s willingness to work together with community stakeholders -government, education, industry, healthcare organizations and others- across the GCC region to develop a framework for standards and professional development in eHealth that will create a loyal, long-term workforce and offer an array of opportunities for generations to come.