The UAE Health Ministry denied on Wednesday a local press report that expatriate doctors must learn Arabic within a year of being granted a license to practice, reported the Gulf News.
The report in a local Arabic newspaper said the decision to make Arabic mandatory was taken to eliminate any potentially fatal misunderstandings between doctors and patients.
But the director of the ministry's private medical practice department told the Gulf News that, while it would be beneficial for all doctors to speak Arabic, it was not mandatory.
Ibrahim Ali Al Qadi said: "We live in the UAE and non-Arab doctors are bound to receive Arabic-speaking patients, so we have suggested in the license form that it would be good for doctors to learn Arabic as it would help them understand their patients better.
"But it has not been made compulsory for them to learn Arabic within one year of receiving the license from the ministry. We are just trying to enhance communication between doctor and patient so better service can be provided." – Albawaba.com
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