Dubai, UAE: The Dubai Healthcare City plans to open the first cancer hospital in the emirate next year that will offer patients treatment in the emirate, the CEO said.
Lack of facilities forced cancer patients to seek treatment, such as chemotherapy, at specialised hospitals in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.
The hospital will open in the first quarter of next year.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the UAE after traffic accidents and presently there is no chemotherapy treatment offered in Dubai.
The hospital is being built with private sector partnership with the Mediclinic Group.
Marwan Abedin, CEO of Dubai Healthcare City, said this will be the first private hospital offering treatment (such as chemotherapy) and post-operative care in Dubai. He said plans are to hugely increase the health care city in the second phase that will have rehabilitation centres for adults and children, offering speech and physical therapy.
He said there are plans to make Dubai not only a tourism hub but also a wellness centre.
The CEO was speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference that opened at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre today.
He said there is a massive expansion plan under way with a 19 million square foot phase 2 project at the Healthcare City. Abedin said Healthcare City is taking a holistic view of medical care. "Preventative care is extremely important. Let’s not get the disease to begin with it," he said. "There will be a large focus on alternative medicine." he said.
The CEO said plans are to build three-, four- and five-star hotels around the health care city to house the expected growth in medical tourists coming to Dubai.
He had earlier said the City will soon offer critical care for senior citizens. Patients will be offered various housing options, he had said.
Participants in the conference said medical tourism depends on a smooth immigration policy. There needs to be various health packages available for patients and families who can travel on a medical visa as that will help build the health tourism industry, they said.
Abedin referred to the medical tourism focus as "building blocks". He said for medical tourism to thrive, it needs specialities, infrastructure and government support.
"The success of a medical tourism destination depends on these factors as well as factors of safety, accreditation and, increasingly, medical tourism facilitators. The facilitators connect medical tourists to health-care professionals, covering requirements like travel, accommodation and transportation." he said.
Kibreab Amelga, marketing manager of the City’s new medical tourism facilitator Medtour, said the role of a [medical tourism] facilitator cannot be emphasised enough. "We are the crucial link between overseas patients and Dubai. We hope to connect patients from sub-Saharan Africa to some of the best global health-care providers in Dubai Healthcare City."
© Gulf NewsMar 2014