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Healthcare growth in the Gulf attracts Sudanese medical professionals

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Economic diversification plans and attractive packages welcome practitioners from Sudan to the GCC.

Sudan is a country with a substantial array of healthcare talent, with several universities, medical faculties, and institutes focusing on healthcare education and qualifications. 

Across the GCC, healthcare is a key sector for growth. Most of the region’s economies are advanced but highly dependent on hydrocarbons, driving an urgent demand for diversification. Sectors including real estate, technology, and healthcare are areas Gulf governments are focused on further developing and advancing. 

The healthcare sector has grown substantially in the GCC over the last few years and is set to continue its growth trajectory in coming years.  

The UAE, for example, has recently become the first country to create a framework specifically aimed at the rapid and efficient registration of novel pharmaceuticals to aid in its economic development in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector. Currently, pharmaceutical production in the GCC is a US$8 billion industry and is set to grow to US$10 billion in the next few years. 

In Saudi Arabia, healthcare is one of the main pillars of the economic diversification plans of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Programme of 2020. In the Kingdom, there are strategies and initiatives in place to enhance the quality of care and improve healthcare infrastructure and facilities.  

In 2019, it was predicted the private healthcare industry would grow from 30 per cent to 65 per cent by 2030, because of increased availability of improved healthcare facilities in the kingdom.  

Further investment in digital healthcare solutions, infrastructure, medical consumables and implants will position Saudi Arabia as a global medical hub, as the kingdom focuses on advancing healthcare innovations and technologies.  

Attracting top talent  

The GCC attracts healthcare professionals from across the globe and is known for its highly qualified healthcare talent.  

The UAE has recently introduced a “Golden Visa” scheme, which allows for easier immigration for healthcare professionals, among other sought-after talent. This scheme allows skilled and applicable individuals to receive a five or 10- year residency visa. 

For medical professionals, the Golden Visa can also be granted to researchers, scientists, and other highly skilled workers with qualifications or professional experience in medicine.  

Sudan is a source  

In recent years, Sudan has been impacted by civil unrest. This has made Sudan a hub for emigration, particularly to the rest of the Arabic-speaking world, as skilled professionals seek employment opportunities elsewhere.  

Case study 

The DataFlow Group recently visited Sudan to help with the verification process of Sudanese healthcare professionals planning on immigrating to other countries for employment. The DataFlow Group specialises in Primary Source Verification (PSV) and works with global governments, regulators, and public and private organisations to mitigate the potential risks of fraudulent employment applications, with the aim of creating safer communities for people to live and work in. Through its global network of over 100,000 schools, universities, licensing bodies and issuing authorities, the DataFlow Group assesses the accuracy and credibility of important documents, such as academic degrees, employment certificates, practice licenses, work permits and passports. 

Due to the unrest in Sudan, obtaining verifications from the associated issuing authorities was a time-consuming and complex process. To uphold the Dataflow Group’s ongoing commitment to its applicants, the DataFlow team visited the issuing authorities in person in order to complete the verification process and enable these individuals to obtain overseas employment. 

Sanjeev Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer for the DataFlow Group, commented on the company’s recent efforts in Sudan: “Our aim is to ensure our verification services are accessible for all professionals across the globe. As most of our processes are completed online, we understand that in countries where the digital infrastructure is not as readily available or as advanced as other geographies, we have to look to other methods to provide our services. This is why we recently visited Sudan. 

“Sudan is a country rich with healthcare talent and to support Sudanese healthcare professionals in their quest for international employment opportunities, we put together a team to resolve the issue including visiting with Sudanese issuing authorities, such as universities and hospitals, to obtain verifications which is a mandatory component for overseas applicants who apply for a medical license in the GCC. We verified documents from over 18,000 applicants in Sudan and provided support where needed to ensure the verification process was successful for each applicant. 

The DataFlow Group received a total of 47,233 documents for verification in Sudan. 65 per cent of the applicants were nurses, and 35 per cent were qualified doctors.  

In total, 98 per cent of the 18,000 applicants received a positive report, with 0.8 per cent receiving a discrepancy report. The remaining 1.2 per cent could not be verified due to incomplete documentation.  

The exceptional efforts undertaken to obtain these verifications are vital for countries that are unable to utilise digital means for document verification services. They support the growth of critical sectors, including healthcare, in the UAE and other GCC countries, and also provide a means for skilled and qualified professionals to utilise their qualifications on a global scale. 
 

This article was written with inputs from The DataFlow Group. 
 
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