An Emirati healthcare provider with more than 12,000 employees has made the decision to appoint two ‘happiness officers’ in each of its facilities across the country.

NMC Healthcare’s CEO Prasanth Manghat said the new position was inspired by the government’s creation of a Ministry of Happiness.

“Aligning ourselves with the government goal, NMC will appoint two happiness officers in all its facilities,” he told the Khaleej Times.

He went on to explain that it was important to look after the wellbeing of the doctors and nurses working in NMC’s hospitals. Employee happiness officers would be tasked with this and the wellbeing of all other hospital staff. There will also be patient happiness officers to perform similar tasks for the hospitals’ patients, he added.

Public sector staff have also been enrolled in a pilot programme to learn the ‘science of happiness’. Employees from Dubai’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities department are taking part in the inaugural class, which looks at the best policies to achieve customer satisfaction.

“Happiness is big on the [national] agenda, so we put a group of our experts together and asked them to develop a programme that can support that,” Professor Raed Awamleh, dean of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), told The National.

“This stemmed from Sheikh Mohammed’s statement a few years ago when he said ‘I want government service to be like the service you get at seven-star hotels’.”

In the 2017 World Happiness Report, produced by the Centre for Sustainable Development, the UAE was named the 21st happiest country in the world and the happiest in the Middle East.

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