Dr. Uri Pollak
Dr. Uri Pollak Hadassah spokesperson

In a joint initiative between Dr. Uri Pollak, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, and Dr. Kesava Ramakrishnan, Director of the NICU at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, an international conference was held last Thursday evening focusing on future trends in pediatric intensive care.

The conference was also attended by the national president of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Rhoda Smolow, who expressed the hope that cooperation between the two hospitals would grow over the coming years.

This is the first time that hospitals in Israel and the United Arab Emirates have collaborated on an official basis. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the conference’s participants – from Europe, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and other countries – met only virtually, listening to lectures delivered by experts in the field of pediatric intensive care from around the world.

“Medicine has always been above any political controversy or interest,” says Dr. Pollak of Hadassah. “I have often met with professionals from the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries at international conferences, and we sat together around the same table for discussions on medical issues. The same goes for Dr. Ramakrishnan, and now, with the peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, we saw an excellent opportunity to initiate a joint regional conference that would bridge all disputes and disagreements and will potentially save the lives of children across the world.”

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

“The reciprocal sharing of knowledge with the medical center in Abu Dhabi, whose treatment has an excellent reputation and where the best doctors from around the world are employed, and with other equally excellent medical centers, will certainly enhance pediatric intensive care and improve methods, treatments, and protocols,” Dr. Pollak added.

He noted the extraordinary level of interest shown in the initiative: “People gave an affirmative answer to our invitation after being asked just once – we have seen a huge level of interest and enthusiasm in this project. I’m sure that this is just the beginning of many joint ventures with colleagues who until now, we only met abroad through the mediation of others.”