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UAE first country in the world to be honoured with ISO certification for psychological health and safety at work

Adding yet another feather to its glowing cap, the UAE has been recently recognised by the British Classification Foundation, Lloyd’s Register (LR), as the world’s first to obtain the ISO Certification for the management of psychological health and safety at work.

This comes after the Emirates Health Services (EHS), represented by Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital, received the ISO 45003:2021 for psychological health and safety at work.

This honour was conferred upon the EHS in recognition of its commitment to the implementation of the highest global benchmarks in maintaining the health and safety of its workers. It’s another testament to the painstaking efforts being made by Al Amal Hosptial to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for its staff.

The ISO Certification for the management of mental health in the workplace would contribute to improving organisational flexibility, enhancing performance and productivity,  creating a positive work environment, improving employee retention and diversity, enhancing employee engagement and innovation, legal compliance, reducing workplace absenteeism, stress and, anxiety and depression.

Following a rigorous assessment by an independent expert panel from Lloyd’s Register to ensure the implementation of the best practices and the compliance with the ISO requirements and standards, the hospital was conferred upon the occupational health and safety management system certification (ISO 45003:2021).

Unprecedented achievement

AbdulRahman Bin Mohamad Al Owais, the Minister for Health and Prevention, stressed that the efficiency of the UAE’s health system is a testament to the wise government’s commitment to providing advanced healthcare services, upgrading medical and preventive services, developing performance in all health sector facilities, and achieving sustainability in health services and health security.

Congratulating the staff of the EHS and Al Amal Hospital on this unprecedented achievement, Al Owais said the UAE, with this accreditation, has written a new chapter of excellence and leadership and has enhanced its position at the forefront of all global reports and indexes.

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AbdulRahman Bin Mohamad Al Owais (left) and Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal

Dr. Mohammed Salim Al Olama, MoHAP Undersecretary and Head of and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Health Services, hailed the strenuous efforts being made by the hospital staff to reach the highest global benchmarks in health services, affirming that such prestigious awards would help enhance health sector gains, consolidate the competitiveness of the country’s health facilities, and renew global confidence in the health services provided by the UAE, thanks to the adoption of proactive strategies and reinforcement of performance indicators of medical cadres.

Embracing corporate governance standards

Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services, pointed out that the pandemic repercussions, especially the mental ones, make it imperative for all institutions to support their workers to get through these difficult times, stressing the EHS’s commitment to embracing corporate and medical governance standards, applying quality and safety programmes, ensuring the protection of patients and staff and the safety of facilities and hospitals, providing an ideal work environment, and maintaining health, safety, and welfare of health workers and the first line of defence.

Al Serkal congratulated the hospital staff for this unprecedented accomplishment, which enhances confidence in the efficiency of psychological services in the country and reflects the importance of quality and patient safety as a cornerstone of the ongoing development of the health sector, in line with the EHS’s strategy to build quality and safety for therapeutic, healthcare, and pharmaceutical systems according to international standards.

“The pandemic challenges didn’t deter us to resume businesses and services with the same efficiency and distinction, while implementing the highest international standards to ensure the safety and health of our employees, customers,” he said in conclusion.

Great incentive

On her part Dr. Noor Al Muhairi, Director of Psychiatric Health Department, said this achievement motivates us all to continue the path of excellence and redouble our efforts to establish a risk-free environment, pointing out that the hospital, lately, has obtained the ISO Certification for occupational health and safety management, making it the first in the Middle East to get this award. 

“The ISO 45003 is a new standard that began this year with the aim of helping the institutions using the ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management. It’s the first global benchmark that provides practical guidance on managing mental health in the workplace,” she concluded.

Dr. Amna Turki, Director of Al-Amal Psychiatric Hospital explained that the ISO 45003 standard focuses on how to identify psychological and social risks at work, such as risks resulting from remote work, stress or work pressure during crises or emergencies.This standard also provides examples of effective actions that can be taken to manage these actions and improve employee well-being, such as mental health and psychosocial support programmes, enhanced participation and consultation, and professional development programmes.

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