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Is Medical Tourism part of Dubai's Future?

Summary: Considering that this could literally a matter of life and death

For other uses, see A Matter of Life and Death (disambiguation).


"Matter of Life and Death" was the second episode of the first series of .
, Kipp would like to see some concrete and comprehensive regulation, protection and standardisation in the field of medical tourism before it takes off.

An acquaintance became a proud father when his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy at Al Wasl Hospital, Dubai. Preoccupied by the well wishes, the celebrations and the additional domestic chores, our friend procrastinated acquiring a visa and passport for his newborn. During this time, Sheikh sheikh
 or shaykh

Among Arabic-speaking tribes, especially Bedouin, the male head of the family, as well as of each successively larger social unit making up the tribal structure. The sheikh is generally assisted by an informal tribal council of male elders.
 Mohammed, in a grand gesture to his mother and mothers everywhere, renamed Al Wasl Hospital to Latifa Hospital. So when the aforementioned father finally decided to get the documents processed, he was rejected by the ministry on the grounds 'Al Wasl Hospital' didn't exist anymore.

Determined to clear up the issue, when he got to the newly renamed Latifa Hospital, he found, much to his dismay, that he'd have to pay an extra fee and submit a truckload of documents to begin the process of reissuing the birth certificate. We'd like to tell you how the story ends, but we don't know. The father has since been engaged in an unending game of bureaucratic tag with the authorities, and getting in touch seems to be a bit of a task.

As incredulous as it may sound, readers, this is a true story.

Perhaps such a story doesn't surprise you if you've been living in Dubai for a few years--after all this is a city where a local telco will promise to give you a call on your telephone to address the complaint you logged about your telephone not working.

But, here at the Kipp headquarters, our friend's anecdote alerts us in light of Dubai's ambitious aspirations to become a medical tourism attraction. Sure, Dubai has the tourism aspect down to an art, (check out this video by rapper Flo Rida ) but what about the medical?

"In the long term, what we really want to do is provide high-end tertiary care tertiary care Managed care The most specialized health care, administered to Pts with complex diseases who may require high-risk pharmacologic regimens, surgical procedures, or high-cost high-tech resources; TC is provided in 'tertiary care centers', often  so that we can compete with the regional players," Dr Ayesha Abdullah, the managing director of Dubai Health Care City told The National .

Now before we completely disregard Dubai's potential as a medical tourism attraction, we will admit that the sector has been doing considerably well over the past years. In fact, Dubai Healthcare City has reported a significant boost in the number of international patients. Last year 15 percent of all patients in Dubai Healthcare City were medical tourists--a five percent increase from the 10 percent of medical tourists in 2010. And although 15 percent may look pale against the numbers of popular medical tourism alternatives like India, Thailand and South Africa, consider in 2009 only 5 percent of Dubai HealthCare City patients were medical tourists.

Yet, as our anecdote revealed at the start of this article, the question remains: Does Dubai have a steady enough health and medical infrastructure in place to support plans for medical tourism?

Dr Taha Ibrahim, the director of Al Noor Hospital Al Noor Hospital is a Medical-Surgical facility located within the heart of Abu Dhabi City, United Arab Emirates. Created in 1985, the establishment has evolved from a polyclinic into a full-fledged hospital, equipped with state of the art equipment and facilities managed by well  has said that he considers the medical legislation to be in need of further consideration: "Medicine can have a lot of outcomes, including complications and side effects Side effects

Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm.
. Are we ready from a legislation point of view to cover these kinds of shortcomings? I don't think so."

Let's hope Dr. Ibrahim's words are seriously considered by the authorities. Medical tourism in Dubai Tourism in Dubai is an important part of the Dubai government's strategy to maintain the flow of foreign dollars into the emirate. Dubai's lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions.  seems to have the same blessing/curse of most sectors in the Emirate e·mir·ate  
n.
1. The office of an emir.

2. The nation or territory ruled by an emir.

Noun 1. emirate - the domain controlled by an emir
: it is young.

Because growth is on the rise, the business opportunities are spectacular. From the offset the offers too may look just as spectacular, yet what is taken for granted Adj. 1. taken for granted - evident without proof or argument; "an axiomatic truth"; "we hold these truths to be self-evident"
axiomatic, self-evident

obvious - easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind; "obvious errors"
 is the groundwork that needs to be in place-both from a legal and logistical perspective.

Enjoying a five percent growth rate is all very well, but is the growth being substantiated with similar development in terms of infrastructure? What will the legal recourse be for an unhappy patient? How differently will the application process be for applying for a medical tourist visa? And what of credibility--how does Dubai stand with government sanctioned hospital accreditation?

Given that tourism accounts for a significant chunk of Dubai's GDP--the mere promise of increasing tourism numbers may be enough to those higher up to push medical tourism to reach highly profitable but maybe not so safe numbers. Considering that this is really a matter of life and death, Kipp would like to see some proper and real regulation and standardisation in the field of medical tourism.

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Publication:Kippreport
Date:Feb 19, 2012
Words:762
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