Why is UAE Healthcare Thriving?

11 September 2018

Lab Chat

The UAE healthcare sector is projected to increase by 60% over the five-year period between 2016 and 2021, resulting in an industry worth a whopping AED 103 billion by its close. The speculation is welcome news to Emirati citizens and business, but what is behind the growth? Why is the healthcare sector thriving at present? And what continues to fuel its forward movement? Here are five different contributing factors which are ensuring that UAE healthcare continues to prosper.

1. Financial investment

According to recent estimates, governmental investment into healthcare is projected to reach AED 529 billion across the whole of the Middle East and North African (MENA) region by 2020. The UAE is a shining example of this, having recently created the state-of-the-art Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) in 2002. With impeccable facilities, the centre is attracting incredible amounts of visitors every year, while grassroots investment also helps to boost Emirati credentials in the sector.

2. Overseas educational collaborations

The UAE has recently established mutually beneficial relationships with some of the foremost medical institutions in both the US and the UK, meaning that the level of medical education in the Middle East is on the rise. Meanwhile, the funding provided by the National Innovation Strategy, which subsidises research degrees and courses overseas, allows homegrown talent to flourish on both a domestic and international stage.

3. Technological advancement

All over the world, improved technologies are helping to raise healthcare standards – including in the UAE. The deployment of such innovations as chatbots, mobile apps and analytical tools can help to optimise customer experience and better organise patient records, while advances in the actual medical equipment itself as promises to fuel growth in the sector. Breakthroughs such as smart stethoscopes (see the HD Steth) and smart wearables are already making waves among the medical community.

4. Innovative treatments

At the beginning of the year, the Dr Rami Hamed Center in Dubai began offering stem cell treatments for arthritis – an area of medical science previously under-investigated. The idea is that the injection of new tissue into damaged joints can alleviate pain and loss of dexterity, as well as eliminating need for future surgery. Similar possibilities are being explored in treating blindness. The fact that the UAE is pursuing treatments simply unavailable elsewhere makes it an attractive proposition for…

5. Medical tourism

In 2016, Dubai welcomed 326,649 overseas patients, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). That totalled an incredible AED 1.4 billion, making the medical tourism sector a key facet of Emirati healthcare as a whole. With innovative treatment, top-class facilities, superb practitioners and competitive prices, there’s no reason why medical tourism can’t continue to grow in the country, thus further fuelling the healthcare boom in the UAE.

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