Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirate with over 2.1 million people alone. The city saw exponential growth in the last decade and grew to be one of a kind in the world with projects like The Largest Mall in the World, The Tallest Tower in the World etc. Among such projects is a little known but well knit and close community called the Dubai Healthcare City, launched in 2002 and was built to bring state of the art modern medicine to the country.
Today, Dubai Healthcare City consists of 2 hospitals and over 120 outpatients’ medical centers and diagnostic labs covering 4.1 million sq. ft. in the heart of Dubai. They are also investing in education and researching by partnering with some of the best research teams in the world.
As of late, Dubai as a city is aiming to be the World Hub of Medical Tourism. With over 22 state of the art hospitals planned that will attract over 500,000 medical tourists a year by 2020.
[quote]Our target is to attract 500,000 people only for medical tourism by 2020[/quote] said Essa Al Maidoor, Director General of the DHA, or Dubai Health Authority.
The medical tourism strategy has been split into two phases of which the first will be completed by 2016 and second of which will be completed by 2020. Over the course of the next few years, 18 private and 4 public hospitals will be built and hope to bring in over 3,800 well trained staff from around the world. These hospitals and medical centers hope to target patients from the West to across South Asia and Eastern Europe.
Numerous treatments ranging from orthopaedic and sports medicine, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, dental procedures, dermatology, preventive medicine and skin care will be provided and the government in process of building ‘packages’ that will make things easy for medical tourists – these packages will contain visa, hotel stay and access to other activities in the city, these will differ depending on the specialty of treatment.
With all these projects and investments in healthcare and medical research, it is no doubt that Dubai is poised to be the hub of healthcare, not just medical tourism. These hospitals and clinics will serve the growing population of the locals too. The vast majority of the population in Dubai is South Asian who tend to fly back to their home countries for medical treatments, but with state of the art affordable healthcare right in Dubai would create a local demand that will drive the need for more trained staff from all around the world.
[quote]“We have very famous and good doctors and people are travelling to receive treatment here. We have doctors in orthopaedics, dentistry, ophthalmology and plastic surgery. Dubai is trying to create an environment that will attract the best doctors worldwide.”[/quote]
Mr Al Maidoor said the DHA was also trying to address shortages in the number of medical staff in the emirate.
As of 2014, Dubai is home to 25,850 staff in medical staff but this plan will increase this by 10-15%.
Looking To The Future
Dubai Health Authority is optimistic these plans will be a huge success and they are doing every bit they can to ensure it is. With packages already in place to attract tourists and packages specially built for the locals, it is safe to say that Dubai will be the hub of medical research and healthcare.
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