All-in-one portal to boost medical tourism in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi - The electronic portal provides a list of 40 healthcare facilities that are included in the medical tourism network.
A digital platform that provides the Capital's visitors with the details of all the medical services and facilities available throughout the duration of their visit has been introduced in Abu Dhabi.
The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) and the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT - Abu Dhabi) on Sunday launched the Abu Dhabi Medical Tourism e-portal that would further promote healthcare services and set Abu Dhabi as a key medical tourism destination.
The electronic portal provides a list of 40 healthcare facilities that are included in the medical tourism network, all of which adhere to the requirements of the DoH's quality framework (Jawda) programme. More than 287 medical treatment packages from over 173 doctors across the emirate are also listed.
Through the e-portal, users can also access medical tourism insurance packages, the first of its kind in the region, along with a wide range of tourism services such as direct contact with healthcare providers, visa issuance, booking appointments, hotels, transportation and other recreational activities.
According to the DoH, the Capital received more than 16,000 international patients in 2017, and authorities said they are looking forward to increasing the number by more than five per cent within the first year of the portal's launch.
Speaking at the launch of the portal, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, chairman of the DoH, said the development of the portal is in line with the department's commitment to promote Abu Dhabi as a destination for medical tourism in a global scale.
"The DoH is utilising the quality indicators of the Jawda programme to determine the eligibility of healthcare facilities in joining the medical tourism network. By doing so, we can ensure that our healthcare network is capable of providing high-quality and unique medical services that distinguish it from other healthcare systems. These medical services would include advanced heart surgeries, organ transplants, infertility treatments, joint surgeries, medical check-ups and cosmetic surgeries.
Dr Asma Al Mannaei, director of quality at the DoH, said: "We want to create a unique healthcare experience for thousands of patients visiting Abu Dhabi for treatment. We want to see more people from the region and across the world come to Abu Dhabi for first-class treatment and advanced surgeries that cannot be offered in their countries."
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the DCT - Abu Dhabi, said: "The launch of the portal will lay out our plans to identify medical tourism initiatives and benefit from the growth of the sector in the Capital. We offer not only state-of-the-art medical infrastructure, facilities and treatments and world-renowned doctors, but we also have the capability to offer a complete, holistic environment to foster faster rejuvenation and recovery.
"Medical tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of global tourism. Our key strategy is to become a leader in the global medical tourism sector."
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, director-general of the foreigners affairs and ports department of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, said: "It gives us great pride to have developed the medical tourism visa system according to a dedicated framework that was developed in collaboration with the DoH.
"The health facilities, which are members of the medical tourism network, are best equipped to obtain medical tourism visas on behalf of their patients, as per the new framework."
The DCT - Abu Dhabi, in October this year, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) to join efforts and position Abu Dhabi as a world-leading medical tourism destination by hosting the MTA's annual World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in the Capital. The congress brings together experts and organisations from more than 100 countries.
Etihad to provide nurse-on-board service
As part of the medical tourism e-portal service, Etihad Airways said it had launched a door-to-door service that will provide an onboard nurse to take care of a patient from their home and throughout the flight until they reach the hospital in Abu Dhabi. The first-of-its-kind nurse-on-board service will be available to patients from 96 destinations.
Tony Douglas, group CEO of Etihad, said: "As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad is proud to partner with the Department of Health and the Department of Culture and Tourism in supporting the development of medical tourism in Abu Dhabi. Our specialised services, including our in-flight nurses, ensure that guests with pre-existing medical conditions receive a high standard of care during their journey to the Capital."
KT Nano Edit: Hub for quality healthcare
Change is a constant in the UAE. The nation, being on a path of evolution with the aim of providing the best for its residents and visitors alike, introduces programmes and initiatives keeping in mind the changing needs of the people. Making the UAE a hub for medical tourism augurs well for the nation as well as the patients coming in seeking treatment. High-quality healthcare and easy access to facilities are added attractions.