Filling the medical skills gap in the GCC states, Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian doctors have staffed the public hospitals that were built in the 1970s.

The fast-changing demographic in the GCC states now means that healthcare provision needs a rethink as rising indigenous and expatriate populations put pressure on the system.

More hospitals and more healthcare professionals are needed, prompting governments to search globally for skilled hospital staff.

They are doing this in two ways. First, teaming up with internationally renowned hospitals, such as London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The establishment of a Dubai clinic by the world’s leading specialist eye hospital offers the UAE the chance to have its own, locally trained specialists and provide local treatment.

Second, recruiters are scouring the globe on behalf of Gulf hospitals.

The competition for medical staff is tough, but the Gulf offers competitive packages and good facilities.

What is holding it back in many cases is bureaucracy.

The slow process from job offer to starting work is scaring away many potential recruits.

If the Gulf’s hospitals are to fill their vacancy lists, the region’s healthcare authorities need to cut the red tape.

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