UAE: Health facilities closed for flouting rules can only reopen with new licence, if violations are corrected, says minister

'Imposing special administrative penalties on violating health facilities is an inherent right of the ministry,' he says

File photo
File photo

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 2:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 3:03 PM

A private health facility that has been shut down or whose operating licence has been withdrawn for flouting rules can reopen if the violations are corrected and the facility fulfils the necessary requirements for issuing a new licence, the Minister of Health and Prevention has told the Federal National Council (FNC).

During the FNC meeting on Wednesday, Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, who is also the Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, said that all procedures related to the issuance of health licences for private health facilities are carried out according to specific requirements, after which the facilities are granted operating licences after ensuring full compliance.

“In the event of a violation, the concerned authorities undertake the tasks of looking into and reviewing all practices related to the violation, and then issue the penalty that is commensurate with the nature of the violation,” he said.

Al Owais explained that the penalties may include the possibility of the concerned authorities issuing decisions to partially shut down the facility, as a result of which a specific section of the private health facility will be closed, while the rest of the sections for the medical facility will continue operating.

“The administrative decision does not mean the final closure of the facility, departments or clinics but the closure remains in place until the violation has been corrected. Then the facility has the right to apply for a new operating license in order to reopen,” he said.

The minister was responding to a number of parliamentary remarks made by FNC members regarding the mechanisms for imposing administrative penalties on health facilities in the event of non-serious damage, and the extent of their impact on attracting investors in the health sector.

“Imposing special administrative penalties on violating health facilities is an inherent right of the ministry and the relevant health authorities concerned with granting licenses to health facilities,” said Al Owais.

“These authorities have the right to grant operating licences according to specific conditions. They also have the right to cancel or withdraw the license partially or completely from any health facility if it violates the requirements according to which it obtained the licenses.”

He noted that the health facility has the right to object or complain about the decision to cancel the license in whole or in part if it so desires, either with the ministry or by resorting to court.

The FNC members stressed that the penalties or disciplinary penalties currently imposed on health facilities “for non-serious violations” are sometimes not commensurate with the type of violations committed. The members added that sometimes it leads to damages to private health facilities, and also affect the continuity of providing health services by them and might be an obstacle to attracting investors to the private health facilities sector in the country.


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