A 2020 Guide on the Medical System in the UAE

Medical System
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When moving abroad or any place in particular other than your hometown, access to quality healthcare is one of the most important considerations! For individuals who settle beyond borders with the purpose of employment are usually compensated for healthcare by the employer whereas others are required to arrange international Private Medical Insurance (iPMI).

Speaking of quality healthcare, the UAE is well-known for some of the most advanced and amazing medical facilities given to the significant increase in tourism and immigration. In fact, research revealed that for every 100,000 residents in the UAE, there are approximately 190 doctors providing expert medical care.

Other than visa medical screening which is necessary when moving in any of the UAE Emirates from offshore, it’s important to know about healthcare services you, as an immigrant, have access to. Here’s a breakdown of the information you’ll find below:

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Table of Content

  1. Public Healthcare in the UAE

●      Emergency patient care

●      Maternity

●      Basic healthcare that includes consultation with the general physician, diagnostics and treatment, laboratory, radiology, physiotherapy, prescribed drugs/medication.

●        Preventive medicine and services

2. Healthcare System Facts
3. Healthcare Regulatory Authorities
4. Healthcare System & the UAE

(a)   Essential Benefits Plan

5. An Insight Into Private Healthcare

Public Healthcare Services in the UAE

The expat community in the UAE is growing each day. That said, public healthcare services in each of the Emirate is different but the basic ones you can access are:

  • Emergency patient care
  • Maternity
  • Basic healthcare that includes consultation with the general physician, diagnostics and treatment, laboratory, radiology, physiotherapy, prescribed drugs/medication.
  • Preventive medicine and services
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Public healthcare services in the UAE are provided by the official government with both in-and-outpatient services. Although both public and private healthcare facilities in the UAE offer premium services, expats (who can afford to pay higher) prefer private care due to English as a communication medium and foreign-qualified doctors.

Yet another undeniable fact is that of medical services cost in the UAE which is expensive but, patients do get what they pay for in terms of services and quality care. On the contrary, government hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities for locals in the UAE are either low-cost or totally free.

For expats/immigrants to access public medical facilities, they should have a health card. Whether public or private, medical equipment in each facility is ultra-modern with skilled practitioners and surgeons so rest assured as you’re in safe hands.

Healthcare System Facts

Healthcare system in the UAE varies from an Emirate to another, however; quality of service and patient care provided remains exclusive all across. Here’re some interesting facts to know!

  • Abu Dhabi and Dubai attract most of the expats which is why the hospitality industry, healthcare, and many other likewise services are inundated and of the highest quality. Speaking of medical facilities, in particular, expats prefer to undergo necessary treatment and consultation located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • Orthopedic, dermatology, ophthalmology, dental, and fertility are some of the most sought-after medical specialties in the UAE.
  • Private hospitals and medical facilities are greater in number than that of the public.
  • For Abu Dhabi specifically, immigrants moving into the Emirate for employment purposes should have health insurance and visa medical screening Employers are liable to provide all mandatory healthcare essentials for you and your dependents (spouse and three children under the age of 18).
  • Whether employed or not, all residents are liable to have valid health insurance certificates. Those who fail to abide by the law are charged against every uninsured month. Issuance of a residency visa won’t happen unless valid proof of health insurance is presented before the authorities.
  • For employers in the northern Emirates such as Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al-Quwain, Sharjah, and Ajman, they aren’t legally bound to provide employees with health insurance.
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In case the employer doesn’t provide or is legally bound to cover health insurance for you and your dependents, you; as an immigrant, should sponsor them.

Healthcare Regulatory Authorities

There’re various regulatory authorities across the UAE responsible to ensure proper administration of public healthcare. These are the Ministry of Health and Prevention Emirates Health Authority (EHA), Department of Health (DoH), Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD). For local Emiratis, public healthcare in the UAE is free but non-residents usually pay a higher fee when acquiring treatment or consultation at the hospital or clinic.

Healthcare System & the UAE

The healthcare system across the UAE is quite straightforward but there are a few considerations for immigrants in particular. These are:

  • Essential Benefits Plan

If your employer isn’t legally bound to cover healthcare for you and your dependents, opt for a private healthcare plan or go along with the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) which covers all the basic healthcare features as that of public facilities in the UAE. For employers hiring domestic workers, they’re liable to sponsor basic healthcare for them.

An Insight into Private Health Insurance

To know about the healthcare and medical insurance system in the UAE and how it works is crucial since everyone, especially immigrants, need to carry valid visa medical certificates and documents across the Emirates. Just in case an employer isn’t sponsoring health insurance, you would need to approach private healthcare facilities to do the needful. Insurance policies would cover a wide range of services and treatments. If you’re confused about facilities that offer visa medical screening as a service, Capital Health Screening Centre in Abu Dhabi is where you should be heading.

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