Come September, and people visiting Dubai seeking medical care will be met with more than a treatment on a hospital bed: visa, hotel accommodation as well as recreational activities for families who accompany patients will be included in the medical tourism package.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities that wish to provide services to medical tourists will be required to provide all-inclusive medical tourism packages and acquire membership from the Medical Tourism Club from September 1, 2014, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said.
The initiative is aimed to streamline medical tourism for the emirate by including all stakeholders in the process. “All relevant stakeholders including immigration, aviation industry, hospitality sector, and public and private hospitals will work together to ensure medical tourists receive both excellent treatment as well as world-class hospitality that Dubai is synonymous with,” explained Ramadan Ibrahim, Director of Medical Regulation and of the Medical Tourism Programme.
Under the scheme, providers of medical tourism packages will be required to acquire membership of the Medical Tourism Club, a non-profit club subjected to eligibility of the provider.
“For example, they need to provide us details of the specialties they would like to promote, details of the doctors who provide those specialties, the number of procedures they have conducted, etc,” said Ibrahim.
“In addition to medical facilities, we will also evaluate hospitals on the basis of the comfort and ease they provide patients. This includes checking whether they have translators, chauffer services etc., which will all be part of the medical tourism package.
Based on the score, which is to be evaluated by the DHA, providers will receive platinum, gold or silver membership. “The first package will be launched in September this year and will be wellness and preventive services package,” adds Ibrahim.
Priority areas of medical tourism services in the UAE are orthopaedic and sports medicine, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, dental procedures, dermatology and preventive health check-ups.
In a business that globally turns around $30 billion annually and is expected to double by end-2020, Dubai aims to utilise its position as a leading tourism destination and extend it to include an offering of its medical services.
A Dubai Medical tourism website will be launched by the last quarter of 2014 and will include all details and hyperlinks of the approved members.
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