In 2016, Dubai witnessed an overall growth of 9.5 per cent in the number of medical and health tourists in Dubai, a senior official from the Dubai Health Authority said on Monday.
The emirate received 326,649 international medical tourists last year. A majority of international patients came from Asia, followed by Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council nations and Europe.
Orthopaedic, dermatology and ophthalmology were the most sought medical and health tourism specialties. Dubai is also well known for cosmetic, dental and fertility treatments.
Revenue generated from international patients was over Dh1 billion, reinforcing the growing contribution of the sector to the national gross domestic product.
With availability of modern technology and infrastructure, each patient can investigate and arrange healthcare facilities remotely using a trusted website and medical facilitators.
The website also provides medical tourists the opportunity to compare and choose from over 400 healthcare packages that are designed to meet each individual’s requirement. The packages clearly outline the cost, inclusions and exclusions.
The comprehensive packages listed on the portal combine both leisure and health, including hotel accommodation, visa and insurance along with the selected medical treatments. The portal also offers options to request an appointment and 24X7 live chat.
Dubai’s strategy for health tourism includes a charter of patient’s rights and responsibilities with which medical tourists can understand their rights before arriving in Dubai for healthcare.
Additionally, the DHA has created a medical complaints procedure for anyone with a medical related complaint for health professional or facility in Dubai. The process has been designed to address issues based on the level of severity, and provide families with a clean timetable for resolution.
To facilitate the arrival of medical tourists, the DHA works with a third party company to provide coverage. This policy, according to the DHA, is an important safety net in the event of any unforeseen complications that may arise from treatment in the emirate.
Dubai has around 3,000 private health facilities ranging from hospitals, specialised clinics to day-surgery centres with around 35,000 health specialists from more than 110 different nationalities working in the sector.
These numbers are expected to grow to 40,000 specialists and 4,000 health centres by 2020.