Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Hadassah Ein Kerem

Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital made history when it held a medical conference in collaboration with an Abu Dhabi Medical Center, the first medical collaboration between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Held on Thursday and focusing on future trends in pediatric intensive care, the conference was a joint initiative of Dr. Uri Pollak, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem, and Dr. Kasiba Ramakrishnan, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

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The conference was held online due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and was attended by over 400 experts in the field from Europe, the US, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil, Oman, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, and Colombia.

“Medicine has always been above any political controversy or interest,” said Dr. Pollak of Hadassah on Sunday. “I have met many times with experts from the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries at international conferences, and we sat together around the same table for professional discussions.”

The conference, sponsored by the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) and the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS), was attended by specialists in the field of intensive care, including department heads from leading hospitals in the US and the UK.

“What was interesting and impressive was the immediate mobilization of all the specialists from the other medical centers in the United States and England,” Pollak noted. “Already in the first call I was answered in the affirmative by each participant because the unique initiative arouses great interest and enthusiasm in the world.”

Several Israel and UAE ministers and companies have already held conversations and have established a working relationship.

Israel, the UAE and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House last earlier this month, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The UAE is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.

Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.