In the last decade, the healthcare sector in the UAE has grown exponentially mainly due to the reforms brought by the regulators. Today, the United Arab Emirates has a healthcare city in the emirate of Dubai and has also got some prominent hospitals and clinics spread across the nation. After retail, healthcare sector of UAE has been acting as a catalyst in the nation’s growth.
Evolution of healthcare industry in last decade:
Not only is the United Arab Emirates considered as one of the safest countries in the world but also a preferred tourism destination. UAE has a multi-ethnic population that with varying religious beliefs, cultural practices, and educational background. In the initial period, it posed a challenge for the government to cater the healthcare needs of the population but due to efforts from both public and private sector, this was made possible. In past, the GCC nationals used to travel abroad to avail medical services but now they visit UAE as part of the medical tourism opportunities. Dubai has developed its very own “Dubai Healthcare City” (DHCC), a free zone that offers international advanced healthcare through its hospitals, specialized centers, and clinics.
Investors being attracted towards Dubai healthcare sector:
The healthcare market continues to evolve, last year the UAE government spent an estimated 2.9% of GDP on healthcare. Over the years, Dubai has earned a name as the preferred destination for investing due to its regulatory stability and transparency. In the last decade, Dubai has become the attractive city for healthcare professionals around the world. Moreover, with the introduction of a mandatory health insurance policy in Dubai, it has increased the utilization of public and private facilities which attract investments accordingly.
Challenges in Healthcare sector:
Efficient healthcare manpower is one the challenges faced by the healthcare industry in Dubai and in the UAE in general. However, the healthcare jobs in Dubai have been growing steadily mainly due to the government’s initiatives with its healthcare in UAE vision 2021. Other challenges faced by the industry are new investments in technology & data management, e-health services, and health information technologies such as the use of mobile health, telemedicine, and electronic health records.
Also, read about Why do UAE residents prefer MBA over other master degrees?
Reforms in the industry needed:
With the recent mandate by DHA on mandatory insurance in Dubai, the UAE still has to introduce health insurance at the federal level as only Abu Dhabi has a health insurance scheme being introduced for its nationals and residents through DAMAN and Dubai through ENAYA and SAADA. Also, the uniformity of a health regulation system in the country when it comes to licensing a healthcare professional has to be considered across the UAE.
Future for the healthcare sector in Dubai:
The emirate of Dubai has positioned itself as the most preferred investment destination for foreign healthcare companies looking to do business. With stringent patent protection laws, trademarks, and copyrights in place more and more companies would like to set up their operations here.
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Post written by:
Mr. Tausif Mulla
Associate Faculty & Marketing Specialist
Westford University College