The United Arab Emirates has witnessed a lot of changes in the healthcare sector in the recent years, most of which have propelled it to the limelight in global health care. The country now has a healthcare city and is home to some of the most prominent clinics and hospitals in the world. It has fostered many initiatives including Dubai medical tourism.
The UAE has a multinational population being home to people of differing cultural, religious and educational backgrounds. This presents a challenge for the government in regards to introducing a healthcare system that can effectively care for their needs. Over time, both the public and private sectors have been very much involved in addressing the healthcare needs of the community.
The healthcare market has continued to evolve and the government has spent over 2.5 percent of the GDP on healthcare. It has also been making good healthcare investments to attract expatriates and GCC nationals. Traditionally, these people traveled abroad for their medical care.
The Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) has also been developed as a free zone that provides international health providers a wide range of clinics, hospitals, specialized centers and even a medical training center.
Public hospitals have also seen efforts to be affiliated with renowned international healthcare providers. One commendable milestone has been the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Cleveland Clinic. The private sector has also been involved in investment towards the growth and development of the sector.
In general, the Dubai healthcare industry is doing well and could serve as an example for other nations that want to be global leaders in healthcare.
Dubai has a market-friendly business environment and is transparent and stable in its regulations. This contributes to efficiency in the workplace and is the major attraction for investors in its healthcare sector in addition to its wealth of healthcare professionals.
Dubai recently introduced a mandatory health insurance policy which will see the increase in the utilization of public and private facilities. This will also help in attracting investment, especially when coupled with the government’s support for the healthcare sector as evidenced by the establishment of the Healthcare City free zone.
The main strength of the UAE healthcare industry lies in its ability to adopt new ideas which make it fertile for tangible outcomes. As a country, it has demonstrated its ability to welcome innovation and to implement rather quickly.
Even though the population they seek to serve is multinational, it is also small enough to be able to be managed easily and yet not too small to hinder big results. It is not a surprise that it is able to build a wealth of databases.
According to one industry expert, Dubai is a place where closing the loop is possible in regards to capturing personal information in a detailed manner from birth. Individuals trust the government with their data because the government sponsors the lifetime cost of healthcare. This is one of the drivers of their successful health projects.