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Medical Tourists Protected Against Malpractice

 

New bill of rights for patients proposed by DHA

 

Gulf News
October 7, 2015

Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary, Senior Reporter

 http://m.gulfnews.com/news/uae/health/medical-tourists-protected-against-malpractice-1.1596708

 

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will introduce a bill of rights for patients that will be given to them before surgery, and introduce an e-investigation in case of medical malpractice where the patient can depose via teleconference from his country to file a complaint.

 

The move is aimed to boost transparency in Dubai's medical sector, said officials, as regulators aim to curb medical errors and improve healthcare services for both residents and medical tourists.

 

On the sidelines of the opening of the International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC), Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of Health Regulation at DHA, told Gulf News: “Accountability and transparency are key to successful medical tourism and although we intend to keep medical errors at the lowest, in case of a malpractice the patient should find it convenient to lodge his formal complaint electronically.”

 

In addition to this, DHA introduced a new medical insurance scheme at the beginning of October for international medical tourists that will cover the cost of correcting a surgery which needs to be redone.

 

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Insurance for medical tourists

 

“This insurance, which is different from travel insurance, costs anything between Dh140 and Dh180 and covers the cost of travel and surgery in case an international patient requires to return for a correction to a previous surgery,” Dr Layla told Gulf News.

With a system of effective checks and balances, Dubai’s road map for medical tourism has been firmly laid out.

 

The emirate is poised to become the world’s fifth largest and the region’s number one medical tourism destination by 2020. In the first half of 2015 alone nearly 260,000 medical tourists provided revenues worth Dh1 billion and the numbers are expected to double by the end of the year.

 

Ten new private hospitals will open in the next two years. The Al Jalila Children’s superspeciality public hospital is likely to open next year within the Latifa Hospital complex.

 

Target

 

The target of having 500,000 medical tourists visiting Dubai by 2020 is also expected to go up exponentially. These and many more interesting updates on medical tourism were disclosed by Dr Layla.

 

The two-day conference was inaugurated by Humaid Al Qutami, chairman of the board of DHA.

 

In his opening speech, Al Qutami said, “The prestigious status that Dubai enjoys internationally has paved the way for a better future for health. It has made the emirate of Dubai eligible for being the primary destination as well as a favourite for therapeutic tourism.”

 

Providing the latest statistics on medical tourism, Dr Layla added: “Dubai already has 29 private hospitals, four public hospitals and a total of 2,900 health-care facilities providing the latest treatments and specialities. Over 32,697 professionals are involved in the running of these establishments and more than 2,985 health organisations are involved, 80 per cent of whom are accredited internationally, in addition to a number of specialised and recognised orthopaedic surgical and beauty centres.”

 

Dr Layla emphasised that conferences like these helped showcase the flexible, efficient and top-class tourist and medical facilities of the emirate and the excellent tourism facilities, boosting both tourist and investor confidence.