Dr. Ori Pollak, director of the Children's Intensive Care Unit at Hadassah's Heart Institute in Jerusalem.

Hadassah Medical Center held an international medical conference with a medical center in Abu Dhabi, in the first collaboration between Israeli and Emirati medical institutes since the peace agreement was signed on September 15.

Dr. Uri Pollak, director of the Children's Intensive Care Unit for children at Hadassah's Heart Institute in Jerusalem, and Dr. Kasbia Ramakrishna, head of the parallel unit at the Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Abu Dhabi, joined forces and together organized an online conference on Thursday that focused on future trends in intensive care and heart disease in children.

Rhoda Smolow, President of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, attended the conference and expressed her support for the initiative, which she said she hopes will continue to grow.

This collaboration marks the first of its kind between hospitals in Israel and the UAE.

Drawing quite the attention, the online conference was attended by over 400 experts in children's medical treatment from many countries, including European countries, the US, Vietnam, Brazil and Columbia, as well as Muslim countries – some of which don't currently maintain formal diplomatic relations with Israel – including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman and Indonesia.

"Medicine has always existed above all political disputes," Pollak said during the conference. "I've had the pleasure to meet experts from the UAE and other Arab states more than once during international conferences, and we sat together around the same table for professional debates."

The conference included a joint discussion where participants were invited to share with their fellow experts new discoveries, ideas or product developments in the field of children's ICU that they had recently come across.

"I'm positive that everyone learned something new during this conference, and that more conferences will follow – perhaps here in Israel and in Abu Dhabi. This is the beginning of a new path taken together with colleagues, who we only used to meet abroad, through the mediation of others," Pollak said.

The conference was sponsored by the European Society of Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care and the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post on 4 October 2020. Click here to read the original article.