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15 July 2024

DoH develops comprehensive oral health policy

By Wam

The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, DoH, announced today the development of a comprehensive oral health policy, in line with its commitment to develop an oral healthcare system that adheres to the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency, and is accessible to all residents across the emirate.

The DoH is the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi. The new policy focuses on four key aspects, developing a new system for oral healthcare services, enhancing community awareness of the importance of preventative care and oral hygiene, promoting research-based projects in the field, and effective human resource planning to ensure the provision of oral healthcare services.

The implementation of the new policy came following an extensive study conducted by the DoH’s Strategy and Public Health divisions, in collaboration with a number of healthcare providers and health insurance companies in the emirate.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajri, Director of the Public Health Division at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre which follows the DoH, said, "The DoH has set clearly defined goals and strategies for the healthcare sector and developed a roadmap to strategically enhance the provision of oral and dental care services by the health facilities. It also aims to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of health providers, health professionals and insurance companies to ensure a seamless delivery of services and exceptional patient experience."

According to DoH's 2017 statistics, more than 85,000 cases of periodontal diseases were diagnosed in adults over the age of 18 that were also Thiqa-insurance cardholders, equivalent to 27 cases per 100 individuals.

Approximately 134,110 cases of tooth decay were also recorded amongst the same category, equal to 48 cases per 100 individuals. Among children under the age of 18, the proportion of gum diseases recorded was 10 cases per 100 individuals, while the number of caries saw an increase, with an incidence of 44 per 100 individuals of the same category.

According to the World Health Organisation’s oral health report, oral and dental diseases are some of the fastest growing non-viral diseases worldwide and can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle and making healthier decisions.