Dubai, UAE: New medical tourists coming to Dubai can expect talent, transparency, trust, affordability and accountability with a quick grievance redressal system under the revised provision of the regulatory health laws that have been announced, Dr Laila Al Marzouqi, director of Medical Tourism and Health Regulation, said on Tuesday.
She was speaking on the sidelines of the Dubai Health Regulation Conference being held in conjunction with the seventh World Health Tourism Conference being hosted in the city from Tuesday through Wednesday.
In 2015, 630,000 medical tourists availed health care services in Dubai and of these, 47 per cent of patients came from outside the UAE, she said. The Dubai Health Regulation Authority (DHRA) expects that with new rules and regulations and medical redressal systems in place, there will be an increase of at least 12 per cent in foreign medical tourists, eventually taking the numbers up to 500,000 medical tourists by 2021.
Linda Abdullah, head of Dubai Medical Tourism Department, told Gulf News: “We are in the process of tying the tourism infrastructure with the health care industry more clearly so that the medical tourists get a complete Dubai experience. He can log on to www.dxh.ae, tailor his own package and there will be total transparency about the costs with no hidden fees. Patient safety is paramount and he can read his bill of rights as he is entitled to the same rights as UAE residents whilst seeking health-care intervention. Besides the health insurance that covers the cost of surgery or treatment, the medical tourist coming to Dubai can also avail of an additional medical liability insurance at the additional cost of Dh150 which will cover him for 90 days after the surgery and give him free access to the doctor, cover the cost of a revision surgery, free stay and free travel in case he has a complaint. This too will be available to the patient on the website.”
Dr Al Marzouqi added that currently the DHA was working on a pilot project with five private hospitals in the emirate to define the key performance indicators (KPIs). Once the pilot project is over, the KPIs will be applied in 29 private and four government hospitals. “These will be based on a complete 360-degree assessment of the facility which will cover international accreditation of doctors, clinical morbidity and mortality rates, availability and quality of medical equipment, availability of beds and medical compliance,” she said.
Once this pilot project is over, the DHA will undertake proper ratings of hospitals. Dr Haider Al Yousuf, head of Public Health Funding, said very soon the prices of treatments would be linked according to the ratings of the hospital. “We have initiated an international rating system based on the Key Performance Indicators. Of course, there will be a minimum standard expected by all. Based on the premium facility and services provided, hospitals will get some ratings which will then be linked to the prices,” he added.
Dr Mohammad Oussama Kayali reiterated that the Dubai Health Regulatory Law made sure it was in compliance with the Federal Medical Liability Law that was recently announced. “Be it telemedicine, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, ophthalmology or laser procedures, we have announced at least 10 new regulations that keep in mind patient safety, privacy and confidentiality and these regulations are in sync with the new federal medical liability law,” said Dr Oussama.
© Gulf NewsOct 2016