16 April 2022: An official global meeting of the International Congress for Health Specialties (ICHS) took place virtually as a united association of prominent professionals towards centralizing the highest standards of global healthcare practices. An authoritative assembly of 31 members from several diverse nations form the ICHS Higher Council and International Executive Board from the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, United States, Morocco, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. ICHS was first announced this past March during the 18th annual edition of DIHAD, and formally began its proceedings leading up to this moment in an effort towards unifying healthcare professionals, establishing a global accrediting authority, and providing continuous education through an international cooperative platform.
An overwhelming 81 countries are currently struggling with low and medium human development numbers based on the criteria of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) of four major indicators: Life Expectancy for Health, Expected Years of Schooling, Mean Average of Schooling years for education, and Gross National Income per capita for the standard of living. As a result, ICHS goals and strategies will correspond to the HDI in order to reach those nations and help improve their health conditions through continuing education programs and development, while also assisting them to initiate strong sustainable healthcare projects.
The International Congress for Health Specialties is a unified global accrediting system for Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Professional Development (CPD) that helps to train and qualify medical and health professionals across the world. The international nonprofit organization and independent body is situated in London, United Kingdom, and will cover 436 specialties and subspecialties with a network of over 500 core professionals in an aim to improve the standard when it comes to healthcare specialists and provide a global platform to connect for information, equality, and professional progress. As countries with a low HDI struggle with improving and stabilizing their internal healthcare industries due to unfortunate circumstances like natural disasters and crises, ICHS will provide CME/CPD programs and events by reaching medical and health professionals at their remote cities, towns, mountains, and valleys to provide them with the opportunities of benefiting from CME/CPD activities and gain the highest level of internationally recognized certifications.
The meeting, which was held virtually to accommodate the presence of prominent international figures, commenced with a powerful welcome note by H.E. Amb. Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Charmain of ICHS, and included the ICHS Higher Council and International Executive Board.
Higher Council members include Prof. Abdullah Al Shammery, Scientific Chairman of ICHS and Global Scientific Dental Alliance; H.E. Amb. Sergio Piazzi, International Affairs for ICHS and Secretary General, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM); H.E. Col. Abdelrahman Al Mansoori, Strategy and Innovation for ICHS and CEO, Waterfalls Initiative; H.E. Amb. Gerhard Putman-Cramer, Humanitarian Affairs for ICHS and CEO, DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation; H.E. Amb. Peter Schatzer, UN and International Organizations Affairs for ICHS and Permanent Observer of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) to the UN; Dr. Ali Al Sayed Hussain, Scientific and Continuous Medical Education Affairs for ICHS and Chairman of DUPHAT; Dr. Gerhard Seeberger, International Academic Affairs for ICHS and President, Academy of Dentistry International – Italy; Dr. Tariq Khoory, Quality Assurance for ICHS and Honorary Chairman of AEEDC Dubai; Mr. Jose Luis Mendoza Garcia, Academic and Research Affairs for ICHS and Director of Institutional Relations, Catholic University of Murcia – UCAM; Dr. Eric Roodenbeke, Healthcare Management Affairs for ICHS and Consultant, International Hospital Federation – Switzerland; Dr. Mohammed Abedin, Scientific and Educational Affairs for ICHS and Scientific Vice Chairman, AEEDC Dubai; and Mr. Salah Fakhouri, Secretary General of ICHS and Administration Affairs.
The ICHS International Executive Board members are Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, Board Chairperson and Advisor to the Director General and In-Charge of Public Health, Dubai Health Authority – DHA; Dr. Robert Edwab, Board Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Greater New York Dental Meeting; Dr. Meshari Al Otaibi; overseeing CME/CPD and President of Makkah International Dental Conference and Exhibition, Vice President of the Saudi Society of Restorative Dentistry; Dr. Jack Dillenberg, overseeing Chapters & Geographic Activities and Mayor, Jerome, Arizona; Dean Emeritus, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health; Prof. Mukesh Kapila, CBE, Overseeing Research, Education and Innovation and Professor Emeritus, Global Health & Humanitarian Affairs, University of Manchester, Senior Adviser to PAM, Adviser to World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. Ibtesam Al Bastaki, overseeing CME/CPD & Healthcare Standardization and Director of Investment and Public-Private Partnership – DHA, and Scientific Chairperson, International Family Medicine Conference & Exhibition; Dr. Ziad Salameh, overseeing Chapters & Geographic Activities and Professor, Director Research Centers, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Lebanese University; Dr. Andre Mattos, overseeing Research, Education and Innovation and Plastic Surgeon, Brazil; Prof. Dott Angelo Cardarelli, overseeing Research, Education and Innovation and Specialist in Oral Surgery and Adjunct Professor a.c. Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milan; Dr. Diego Portnoi, Overseeing Chapers & Geographic Activities – PR and Media and Professor in Dental Materials, Cosmetic Dentist – Argentina; and Dr. Kamal Benmansour overseeing Chapters & Geographic Activities – PR and Media, Director of the Tawassol Dentistes Group, Treasurer of the Arab Federation of Dentists, General Secretary of the Maghreb Union of Dentists.
H.E. Amb. Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani stated: “The mission of ICHS is to nurture medical and health education, knowledge, innovation, and excellence for the benefit of humanity. We have gathered an incredible society of global experts and professionals that will not only ensure to improve the practices of healthcare professionals around the world, but also assure the improvement of the quality of service to patient care as well.”
His Excellency continued by adding, “ICHS accumulates 15 years of work and 4 consecutive years of planning, and now to see everyone gathering for the betterment of humanity has me strongly optimistic about the journey we’re taking together to improve healthcare practices through continuous education and practical training.”
Several key topics were then discussed involving the ICHS Objectives 2022-2023 and Activities of ICHS by Mr. Salah Fakhouri as he stressed the need to immediately focus on nations who need the most support. He stated: “ICHS will analyze the highest standards when it comes to healthcare industries and practices around the world to set up a unified platform where important data will be shared. We are encouraging individuals and societies to donate their time for service and humanitarian progress.”
Higher Council member Prof. Abdullah Al Shammery then delivered a Keynote Address on the importance of continuous education and particularly benefiting from advanced technology through e-learning platforms which has contributed to significant worldwide increase of internet usage over the past three years. While expressing his passion for continuous education, he commended the incredible involvement of the various members from several nations. He commented: “The healthcare professional must always be constantly learning, growing, training, and developing to increase their overall efficiency through innovative practices. For example, our internet usage has grown dramatically all over the world these past few years so we must take advantage of the various e-learning platforms and technologies that provide accredited and advanced certifications. We must always desire to obtain personal growth.”
The Congress then continued their dialogue towards the ICHS Goals and Strategy implementation by Higher Council member H.E. Col. Abdelrahman Al Mansoori, where he elaborated on the planning and activation of ICHS strategies and innovation affairs while highlighting the vision and mission of the organization and called on all nations respectively to begin implementation on the local level. His Excellency commented: “Through high values like trust and partnership, we will provide access for medical and health professionals to continuous education and professional development through a worldwide platform that will drive global medical research and innovation through broad collaboration. We are now also researching for additional opportunities around the world so we can focus on areas that need it the most.”
International Executive Board member, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, commented on the importance of international cooperation in collecting data and touched basis on the ICHS Accreditation System. He stated: “ICHS is an independent accreditation body with a worldwide authority and will become the ultimate accreditor for healthcare practices and industries across the globe. Anyone who is exposed to healthcare will eventually cross paths with ICHS as we will be particularly involved with humanitarian missions as well.
Higher Council member Dr. Ali Al Syed Hussain, also commented on the accreditation system and the importance of continuous education, as he shared on his own personal experience of not knowing any one person from the past 20 years of his profession who hasn’t invested in some form of professional training and development. Dr. Ali stated: “CME and CPD is a very important service that we’ve been working on for over 20 years. It is vital that all medical and healthcare professionals update their knowledge, as we cannot depend on those who don’t remain updated on international improvements and standards.”
Speaking on the importance of ICHS as an independent accreditation body, Higher Council member Dr. Gerhard Seeberger, stated: “Advancing CME and CPD means research and excellence in healthcare for the betterment in humanity must go beyond borders. I have learned very early that art, culture, and science must have no borders and we will engage in that. Professional ethics and sound science cannot be refused by any international accreditation body, and we must keep our independence to maintain our collaboration with international universities and their local governments to keep CME and CPD credits recognized. For that, we are breaking mental silos and bias to reach our goals.”
Higher Council member H.E. Amb. Sergio Piazzi followed up on Dr. Gerhard’s statements, stating: “Interaction between all nations is most important. When we go to different countries on humanitarian missions, it is important for us to get assistance from local agencies. To see only one nation or organization try to assist millions of refugees puts a heavy strain on their own societies while they are also trying to take care of their own struggling citizens and residents as well. We are working towards more international cooperation for effective aid and assistance.”
Membership to join ICHS is open globally to all medical and health specialists who possess professional degrees from recognized universities, colleges, schools, and institutions in one of the specialties or subspecialties specified by ICHS. Members compromise mainly of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technologist, allied healthcare professional and administrative healthcare professionals whose interests are rooted in medical and healthcare specialties. Membership also includes benefits such as access to all Continuing Medical Education, Continuing Professional Development Programs, educational and training opportunities at a local and international level, access to International Conferences and Activities that are recognized and accredited by ICHS globally, and so much more.
Members of ICHS will also be involved in humanitarian missions and commit to assisting developing countries and struggling societies by developing their healthcare sectors and educating their medical staff through scientific research and innovative initiatives, all while providing the finest medical and healthcare opportunities and helping them structure a healthy and sustainable society.
The International Congress for Health Specialties is an international nonprofit and independent body situated in London, United Kingdom. ICHS is associated with many prestigious international affiliations in partnership with the Waterfalls Global Initiative, and in cooperation with the Department of Behavioral Rewards in the Ministry of Possibilities in the UAE and INDEX Holding.