Average life expectancy in UAE rises to 75 years

ABU DHABI - The UAE ranks highest among Arab countries in terms of life expectancy 75 years a figure comparing favourably with that in advanced countries where life expectancy has recently reached 79 years.

By Nada S. Mussallam

Published: Sat 26 Apr 2003, 12:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:01 PM

The main reason for this high rate is the excellence of health services provided in the UAE, with the Ministry of the Health managing a total of 30 hospitals, 115 primary healthcare centres and nine centres for preventive medicine throughout the country.

The ministry is also planning to set up 17 new hospitals and 25 primary health centres, which will start functioning by the year 2005.

Six more hospitals with a total bed capacity of 1,830 will be opened, including an 800-bed general hospital and a 350-bed obstetrics and maternity hospital in Al Ain, a 200-bed general hospital in Umm Al Quwain, a 180-bed obstetrics and maternity hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, a 120-bed general hospital in Kalba and a 180-bed psychiatric hospital in Dubai.

The Corniche Maternity Hospital in Abu Dhabi will be provided with a further 300 beds while three more primary healthcare centres will soon be opened in Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Dibba, according to the ministry's recently released report 'Yearbook 2003'. This along with the opening of a new centre for preventive medicine in Dhaid, serving Sharjah's central region, shows the ministry's overall plans for expansion are well under way, said the report.

The report noted that the new hospitals will benefit from the computerised assistance of a revolutionary high-tech tube robot for in-house transport and communication services (the US-made Swisslog Translogic), the first of which has just been installed in a government hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Explaining the ministry's efforts to fulfil the demand for more nursing staff, the report said, the ministry had established five new nursing schools with an expanded teaching capacity.

In 2002, the number of national graduates from the nursing schools was 155 with a considerable increase of 125 nurses compared to that of 30 nurses in 1989. To provide complex treatments such as open heart surgery, organ transplantation and dialysis, specialised healthcare units with comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic radiological facilities were set up by the ministry in the year 2000 at various hospitals, said the report.

The UAE Health Department has 12 reference and confirmatory laboratories for virus diagnostics along with three other laboratories, established to conduct 'flow cytometry' techniques. The UAE is one of the 42 countries participating in WHO's external quality assessment scheme, involving over 900 laboratories, said the report.

It disclosed that Dubai government will establish a $1.8 billion Healthcare City in Dubai, which is considered as a global hub for patients from the entire region.

The project includes a university medical complex, which will provide specialised medical education and research and be instrumental in attracting medical specialists and experts to the region. Shedding light on the participation of the private health sector, in improving health services, the report said at the end of 2000 there were 21 private hospitals, with a total of 827 beds, 265 medical centres, 352 private clinics and 250 specialised clinic, served by 685 doctors.

This year, the American Healthcare Management Systems Company has signed a Dh250 million contract with Emaar Properties to build a 300-bed hospital in Dubai, said the report.

It unveiled that a multi-million dirham fertility centre providing IVF and related services will also be set up at Zulehka Hospital in Sharjah.

More news from