Healthcare in Dubai
is the 7th emirate to join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) grouping. It
came into existence at about the same time as the UAE was formed, i.e.
in 1971. Due to its emirate status, the local authorities in
are not involved in any decision making processes involving legal,
military, politics, and economy matters. These responsibilities lie on
the UAE, which acts as the federal government.
Life expectancy here in Dubai
is fairly high; the average lifespan for males is close to 73 years
while their female counterparts could outlive them to 78 years old.
Government data indicated that crude birth rate remains stable at 12.8%
and infant mortality rate is just under 0.92%.
Chicken pox is a critical disease in
with over 3,000 cases reported inn 2006. Other common infectious
diseases are Viral Hepatitis B (392 reported) and Pulmonary Tuberculosis
(312 reported) in the same year. Situated right in the middle of the
middle-east region, extreme hot weather related discomforts are commonly
expected, for example heat stroke.
A Quick Glimpse into Dubai Health Care
can boast of excellent healthcare by any standard.
This could be due too a number of reasons and some of them are:
of hospitals that are equipped with latest facilities,
location – makes it a regional hub for the patients from
clinics and hospitals.
The combination of the factors mentioned above makes it feasible for the
emirate to deliver quality healthcare services. However, take note that
there is no legislation that compel state or private employer to provide
any form of healthcare protection scheme for workers employed by them.
The public healthcare program is managed by Department of Health and
Medical Services (DOHMS) in Dubai. It deserves credit
by making available inexpensive medical services to the local UAE
residents, in some cases, these are free. Western medicine practitioners
are also prevalent here and they form the bulk of private healthcare
sector. A lot of these practitioners originate from countries like
and Europe, and these doctors are
usually the owner of their practice. While there is no technical
restriction on the number of private practices to be set up in
Dubai, the authority has a strict screening
process pertaining to the quality and practice of these medical
House call is common practice among medical practitioners here. Perhaps
the willingness for doctors to attend to post-clinic private medical
calls is one factor take makes Dubai stand out from the
rest of the world, especially the United States. At all times, the
emirate wants to project a competent and quality image and no
discrimination is allowed as far as medical treatment is concerned. All
(regardless of nationality and residency in the emirate) are treated
fairly. A simple medical consultation at a clinic would typically cost
you approximately £40 if no further medical test is required. A house
call in night-time could set you back by £70. The practice here is
above-board and receipts would usually be issued at the end of
treatment, which helps if you have an insurance plan to protect yourself
from incidental medical costs.
The Dubai Healthcare
City is the biggest
medical facility ever built in UAE and it sits right here in Dubai. It hosts a Medical Center,
a teaching hospital, the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center and the Boston University
Institute of Dental Research and Education Dubai.
Private Healthcare in
As there is no legislation to make insurance compulsory for employees,
foreign workers are well advised to procure their individual medical
insurance plans. As an alternative, they could also apply from DOHMS a
health card. This is the key to access medical services but this right
is only restricted to public hospitals, and only during times of
The medical facilities in Dubai
were previously swamped by foreign expatriates and workers. Earlier
report stated that close to 75% of public hospitals’ facilities are
consumed by expatriates alone. Then the health authority decided in 2001
that foreigners no longer entitled to free medical benefits, but even
with this measure in place, the medical charge (which was subsidized)
was still inexpensive for this target group, and it did little to cut
down the visits. The final straw was drawn in 2004. New legislation
declared that all public hospitals are off-limit to foreigners except
for those who are deemed for admission. Even though hospital room stays
continues to be subsidized, but all other related expenses are to be
borne fully by the foreigners. Unless there is a life-threatening
situation, the position is not negotiable. If that is the situation, the
emergency service is always available and free of charge.
Undoubtedly, the public hospitals in
have been associated with both quality and diversity, which make them
ideal destinations for treatments on a number of medical conditions, and
possibly surgical procedures as well. However, with new restrictions
imposed on foreigners’ access to public healthcare, this effectively
means that the only other option is private healthcare facilities. It is
prudent that foreigners make sure that they are adequately covered by an
established international healthcare provider during their stay in
Dubai; otherwise all medical related expenses are
to be paid in cash.
information you need to know before you leave for Dubai
If you have been to cholera or yellow fever infested area in the last
couple of weeks prior to your trip to
Dubai, the local
authority would expect you to produce a medical test result or
certificate to show that you have not been affected. Dubai is famous for its exorbitantly high cost
of living (including healthcare), so it is advisable you go there with
tip-top health condition.
Pay attention and take precaution on some common infections mentioned
earlier. They are common infections in
and the local authority has not been able to be on top of these
infections yet. Another health risk you should be aware of (in addition
to common diseases that affect the local population) is the sort of
symptoms that affect the foreigners primarily. They could be alcoholism,
respiratory-associated issues, heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration, just
to name a few. While alcoholism is not a disease strictly speaking, it
is a major cause of concern in the emirate, especially among
expatriates. The inclination to drink tends to manifest when people feel
homesickness or stressful work environment. Construction industry has
been booming in Dubai
in recent years the vast availability of sand and dust means that
workers there are exposed to the respiratory-related problems. Of
course, the extreme weather in middle-east is the single biggest factor
to cause heat strokes, dehydration and sunburns.
In case of emergency situation in
Dubai, your instinct should be immediately pick
the phone up and ring the ambulance, or if you can still manage, flag
down a cab to take you to the nearest hospital. Make a habit to have
information such as hospital’s address and phone number readily
available so as you can get to the nearest hospital in the least time.
It would help also if you can alert the medical staff of your impeding
arrival so they could make sufficient preparation on their end.
Sleeping pills and anti-depressant medications are controlled items in Dubai and they are usually not available from
over the counter at most drug stores. Unless you can produce
prescription proof to show that you need them on medical grounds, no
exemption would be made by the drug stores. Anyway, drugs in
also cost quite a bit so it would make sense if you can bring or ship
them from home. Printed receipts would usually be handed over at the end
of transactions, if not, you could request for them. The receipts would
be handy if you plan to make a claim from your insurance company with
How to find the best medical insurance in Dubai
If you travel to Dubai it is
important to choose a good Health insurance plan. The regulations in the
UAE can be quite complex and choosing the right Health Insurance plan
for yourself and your family can be challenging. We can help you select
the most appropriate Health Insurance for your needs in Dubai. Whether
you wish to select a competitive or comprehensive Healthcare plan our
team of advisors will guide you. Please do not hesitate to contact us
for a free insurance Health Insurance quotation in Dubai.