Medical tourism insurance soon in Dubai

By admin Wednesday, 28 January 2015 11:57 AM

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The medical tourism packages, both in-bound packages for residents and out-bound packages for tourists are available for certain medical services and more services will be added shortly.

Dubai: Medical tourism insurance packages may soon be available for patients travelling to Dubai for medical treatment, said a top health official on Tuesday.

Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said the authority is studying this initiative and may introduce medical tourism insurance to provide a further boost to the Dubai Medical Tourism initiative.

“We are working with all relevant stakeholders to streamline the medical tourism initiative for the Emirate,” he said. “The introduction of the insurance will help provide 360 degrees comprehensive care to medical tourists and therefore we are presently studying the viability of such an insurance scheme,” he added.

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, acting-director of the DHA health regulation department and director of the Dubai medical tourism initiative said: “Medical tourism insurance ensures that in case there is a complication, the additional expense is covered by insurance.” “At the moment, we are studying a scheme whereby the insurance will be tailor-made for medical tourists. It will be different from travel insurance although it will cover all the components of travel insurance. The idea is to have a single insurance that suffices.”

“Insurance will be valid for three months after the initial treatment. If the patient needs to return within three months to correct unsuccessful surgery/procedure or post-operative complication, the policy will cover medical expenses, including flights towards the return trip  and accommodation — all these expenses will be covered  up to a certain amount which is dependent on the insurance policy selected.” The authority also announced the introduction of the medical tourism visa which is given for a duration of three months and is renewable.

The medical tourism packages, both in-bound packages for residents and out-bound packages for tourists are available for certain medical services and more services will be added shortly.

“For tourists, several packages are available that include hotel stay and flight tickets. For residents, packages offer discounted rates for certain medical services,” said Dr Layla. She added in a few months, hospitals and health centres in Dubai that are part of the medical tourism initiative will introduce more packages covering a larger number of health specialties.

Medical tourism club

Marzouqi also introduced the medical tourism club that consists of 30 members. She said the members will meet every month and will discuss various aspects such as insurance, transparency and pricing and medical complaints procedure.

She added that there is huge potential in the medical sector in Dubai and that there are 10 hospitals in Dubai that are presently under-construction, which will further add to the number of hospital beds in Dubai.

“Some of the hospitals are specialised hospitals which means doctors will be specialised or even super-specialised,” she explained. “Growth in the medical sector is phenomenal. Over the years, healthcare groups that had clinics are moving towards building hospitals, while those that have hospitals are now moving towards building super-speciality hospitals. Some of the under-construction hospitals are specialised hospitals for cancer, paediatrics and so on. All this will further strengthen the quality of healthcare provided in Dubai, which in turn will directly positively impact the medical tourism initiative,” she added.

The DHA will look into detailed aspects of every health facility after which they will be awarded a star rating similar to that of hotels. “For example, they need to provide us details of the specialties they would like to promote, the details of the doctors who provide those specialties, the number of procedures they have conducted and so on,” said Dr Layla.