Etihad Airways Medical Centre, the UAE’s first aeromedical facility, and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), Ireland’s oldest post-graduate medical training body, have announced a pioneering new partnership to provide the airline with educational, training, research and operational excellence opportunities in the field of Occupational Medicine.
The collaboration, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, will enable Etihad Airways to enhance the medical and broader wellbeing services it provides, whilst also marking a significant step in the airline’s vision to be the global leader in Aviation Medicine.
The partnership will form a key part of the airline’s commitment to ensuring the highest safety standards for its crew and passengers, in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 to develop a robust, world-class healthcare system in the Emirate. Etihad Airways Medical Centre, the Faculty and RCPI are committed to raising the understanding and role of Occupational Medicine within the airline industry, and across society as a whole.
As part of the innovative agreement, the Faculty will hold specialised training courses and educational programmes to optimise and develop the skills of Etihad Airways’ staff and the medical services offered by the airline. A ‘visiting expert’ programme will be introduced to allow both parties to exchange and transfer field experts to enhance knowledge-sharing. Research findings and medical scientific inventions, where applicable, will also be exchanged under the new agreement.
The Faculty will develop a programme to prepare Etihad Airways Medical Centre to become an accredited training centre of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and RCPI. A training programme will also be created with the aim of qualifying the first occupational health nurses in the UAE.
Dr Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services at Etihad Airways, said: “Today is indeed a remarkable day for Etihad Airways Medical Centre and the field of aviation medicine. It is with great pride that we announce our partnership with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Etihad Airways is leading the drive to raise standards in aviation medicine globally. It is therefore a natural step for us to join with the RCPI, a world-renowned training body, to ensure that we continue to innovate across our business and the industry as a whole.”
Dr Declan Whelan, Dean of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland said: “We are honoured and delighted to collaborate with Etihad Airways on their occupational health strategy. Our agreement with them represents international recognition by a world-renowned airline of the high quality of Occupational Medicine in Ireland.
“We must commend Etihad on recognising the value of engaging with a professional body such as ours to ensure that its employees have access to the best possible occupational health services. We look forward to working with them on their mission to safeguard employee health and well-being.”
Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi based employees already have access to world-class medical care at the Etihad Airways Medical Centre. The facility provides full laboratory services, physiotherapy, radiology, dental care, nutrition counselling, ear, nose and throat services, primary care, and aviation health services.
In 2015, Etihad Airways received accreditation from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which gave the Etihad Airways Medical Centre authority to issue initial medical certificates to pilots, air traffic controllers and other professional aviation licence holders, significantly improving the medical experience for the airline’s members of staff.
As part of the new agreement, the Faculty will provide Etihad Airways with a detailed needs assessment of its catering, cargo and support services in addition to the airline’s recently opened Etihad Medical Services Centre.
The RCPI, established in 1654, is the oldest medical institution in the Republic of Ireland. The college is dedicated to post-graduate medical education and training and the continuous professional development of healthcare specialists in Ireland and internationally.