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Dubai is quickly emerging as the medical tourism destination in the region due to its low cost, well-trained English-speaking medical staff and wide range of treatments on offer. By the year 2020, the city aims to build 22 (18 private and four public) hospitals which will attract 500,000 medical tourists a year and boost its economy by up to Dh2.6 billion.
The medical tourism plan is being implemented in two phases, the first of which will be completed in 2016 and the other in 2020. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) will open specialized centers for oncology, genetic disorders and diabetes and upgrade its existing services like rehabilitation, pediatrics and integrated medicine. The specialized treatments in the offing are cochlear implants, infertility treatments and open heart surgery, apart from the common fields of orthopedics, cardiology, oncology, obesity surgery, neurology, plastic and cosmetic surgery, physical therapy, dermatology, rheumatology, ophthalmology, lung treatment and urology.
With its strategic location, quality of care and accessibility, DHCC is well-equipped to become a leading medical travel destination in the UAE.
DHCC has also introduced a visiting physician license, which enables reputed doctors from across the world to come and practice in Dubai for a short time. Staff with specializations is also being hired and trained to cater to this unprecedented demand.
Medical tourists will be issued visas and provided with travel and accommodation packages. The Dubai Health Authority has devised a comprehensive ranking system for providers so that tourists can decide what package they need and in which part of the city, as per their budget.
Dubai will host the International Medical Travel Exhibition & Conference (IMTEC) in October this year. It aims to bring together healthcare services and providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical insurance agencies from around the globe under one roof.
• More than 20 hospitals in the pipeline to cater to medical tourists
• Specalized doctors and staff are being trained for this venture
• DHCC to issue visiting physician license to international doctors
Source: Zenifer Khaleel, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer