DHA strengthens medical tourism strategy

DUBAI Health Authority recently signed an MoU with the Medical Tourism Association at the World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress which took place in Los Angeles.

The agreement will see both parties working  towards further strengthening the medical tourism sector in Dubai.

The emirate is already known to be one of the top tourism destinations in the world and the DHA is further building its healthcare capabilities, policies and regulations to ensure it enjoys the same position as a healthcare destination.

And Dubai will host the prestigious regional Medical Tourism Congress, which will take place in February 2011 and will be held for the first time in the Middle East.

At the conference the DHA and the private sector will represent their centres of excellence in their related fields such as diabetes management, rehabilitation facilities, surgery etc. The conference will be a platform presenting Dubai’s healthcare tourism strengths to the global medical tourism industry.

Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, director general of the DHA,  said: “In recent years, Dubai has seen a phenomenal growth in the health sector and this has been possible because of the vision of our leader, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has given significant importance to the health sector in the Dubai strategic plan 2015.

“Medical tourism is an integral aspect of healthcare, especially in the context of today’s globalised world and the DHA is keen to further strengthen and establish Dubai’s position on the medical tourism and global healthcare map.” 

Al Murooshid emphasised that the DHA considers the private sector to be its key stakeholder and thus encourages the sector to develop state-of-the-art healthcare facilitates in Dubai.

Over the years, the patient base indicates an increase in the number of regional patients who visit Dubai for treatment and thus the DHA sees tremendous potential in the growth of the medical tourism sector for the emirate.

Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of the health policy and strategy sector at the DHA said: “The medical tourism industry generates more than $30 billion worth of revenue annually. It is a huge industry globally and Dubai already has many factors that work to its benefit. At the DHA, we are strengthening our policies, regulations and further developing our healthcare capabilities to strengthen the medical tourism sector.

“In terms of the GCC region, we are already witnessing an increase in the number of patient base and now we are keen to provide the international patient with lucrative healthcare opportunities in Dubai. At the DHA, we consider the private sector to be a key stakeholder and thus both the public and the private health sector in Dubai will be a part of the medical tourism conference which takes place in 2011.”

She said  the conference will hold international workshops and educational programmes for the health sector to benefit from the experience of renowned global players who will be present.

The DHA and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing are strategic partners in this initiative which aims to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global medical tourism hub.