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Customer service heart of new health strategy: Dubai Health Authority.

Dubai: Personnel in beige jackets sporting aACAyMay I help you' slogans will be the mainstay at all the healthcare facilities under the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in the near future, according to the authority's Health Strategy 2013-2015.

The strategy's core focus is customer service and sustainable expansion, with plans outlined for both.

The expansion includes three new hospitals, 40 primary health care centres (PHCs) and two hotels. The long-term vision is to have hospitals within the 12-kilometre radius of residential areas.

Details on the strategy and its rollout were made available to the media earlier.

The strategy was approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, last week.

The 2013-2015 strategy has short-, medium- and long-term goals to keep pace with the population growth of the emirate and push Dubai's status as a formidable player in the global medical tourism sector.

It is also in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 that aims to help the Dubai government steer the emirate into the next level of growth, development and excellence. The strategy aligns itself with the emirate's medical tourism initiative as well.

In an earlier interview with Gulf News, Engineer Eisa Al Maidour, director-general of DHA, said, that the authority is in the process of identifying gaps in services, building capacity and increasing investors.

"We expect a steady increase in health care requirements. Within the DHA network of health centres and hospitals, we have increased capacity by about 12 per cent. We are looking into different parameters to ensure sustainable growth," he said.

Speaking on the strategy that was yet to be finalised at the time, he said, "The strategy will outline growth for the health care centre based on the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, which envisions sustainable economic growth and social development," he said.

Details of the strategy were presented to the employees of the DHA at the Rashid Medical Library auditorium on Thursday.

The strategy has 17 operational goals and will be delivered through 43 initiatives backed by an enhanced control plan and Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Al Maidour said the pillars of the strategy are prevention and awareness; easy access to health services; quality; and investment and competitiveness.

Addressing the employees, Al Maidour said, "For us all, going forward, customer care has to be priority. Patients and their families need our outmost care and compassion, and excellence in health care services and customer care must go hand-in-hand."

Elucidating the strategy, he said that it has been analysing the population growth study of the emirate.

"Access to health care is a priority. We chalked out the additional projects required until 2025. Our strategy is to have hospitals within the radius of eight to 12 kilometres from all catchment areas and health centres to be within 3 to 5 kilometres of all catchment areas," he said.

He stressed the expansion of health care in context of requirements of patients and their families. He said the expansion meets infrastructural needs of health care facilities as well as indirect needs like hotel accommodation and leisure activities.

"All these aspects ensure we have taken a 360 degree view of the requirements of patients, their families, staff members and medical tourists," he said.

Towards the strategy's customer service goal, the DHA customer service index was launched last week.

Of the goal, Al Maidour said that the DHA is going to make customer feedback an integral part of its functioning.

He said that the index is designed with two bars -- red and green -- representing dissatisfaction and satisfaction respectively.

"Before exiting the premises [across the DHA hospitals and primary health care centres], customers can press the aACAyhappy' or aACAyunhappy' button [through an electronic interface], and the rating will appear on the screen in the form of red and green bars. The service empowers customers to express their opinion," he said.

The DHA headquarters will have an interface where customer satisfaction can be viewed real time. And to enhance customer service, customer relations personnel in designated beige jackets will assist customers in person, he added.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:May 26, 2013
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