Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Flag Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)

Health Care System

The UAE’s strong focus on medical care for its citizens and expatriate workforce has brought about far-reaching changes in the health care system in recent years. The World Health Organization’s assessment ranked the UAE in the top 15% of all 190 WHO member countries in overall performance of its health care system.

The public sector operates over 120 outpatient clinics, 90 dental clinics, and 35 public hospitals, where its citizens receive care free of charge. The standard of care is improving, and fewer of the country’s wealthy now see the need to leave the country for advanced health care. The private sector is also growing. The experimental Healthcare City in Dubai is in a position to take advantage of the growing health-tourism market, creating an influx of people seeking the highest standard of care. 

Expatriates, once able to avail themselves of the same free health care as citizens, are now required to hold health insurance; visitors with no health insurance must pay full fees for hospital services. Visitors must now purchase medications from private pharmacies rather than obtaining them at government clinics.

Doctors practicing in the UAE are mostly trained in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or Bahrain; fewer are educated in India, Pakistan, the U.K., U.S., or Canada. Finding an English-speaking doctor is not difficult.

Locating a Doctor

Embassies and consulates generally maintain lists of physicians, dentists, and medical facilities for the benefit of travelers. Also, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) maintains a database of fully licensed, English-speaking doctors around the world. Office visits are available to IAMAT members at fixed rates advertised on the website, www.iamat.org.

Sources: World Health Organization, Comité d’Informations Médicales. World Trade Press accepts no liability for statements on this page. Consult your health care provider for more information.