An Overview of the Healthcare System in the UAE
A well-functioning healthcare system is critical for every country because it ensures that the population has access to various professionals and resources required for health and wellbeing. The delivery of healthcare services is a planned procedure, which is organized by the people’s needs and characteristics. In the UAE, this process started in the middle of the 20th century when a small healthcare center was created in the Al Ras area of Dubai.
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This small center later turned into the Al Maktoum Hospital. The ruler at that time, Sheikh Saeed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, led the hospital to success, which was noticed by an American mission in Muscat. Their relationship started in the 1960s and was followed by the creation of new healthcare establishments throughout the UAE. Even though the development of the healthcare system started in the private sector, public facilities also became available in 1970 (Ali, 2016).
The healthcare system in the UAE operates under regulations provided by governmental bodies and is funded by them (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015). Mainly, these regulations are set by “the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Federal Health Insurance Authority, Dubai Health Authority, and the Health Authority Abu Dhabi” (US-UAE Business Council, 2014, p. 1). Beyond these agencies, the country also closely cooperates with several U.S. organizations, which provides an opportunity to create new jobs and enhance economic conditions.
In general, healthcare systems are divided into groups depending on the territory in which they operate. In this way, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi operates under the General Authority for Health Services, which is now known as the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi and SEHA. This agency provides the population with a comprehensive health insurance program. The Emirate of Dubai cooperates with “the Dubai Health Authority, the Dubai Healthcare City, and the Ministry of Health” (Bell, 2015, par. 15). Even though the insurance plans differ within the country, they are likely to become universal at some point in the future.
Quality Improvement in UAE Healthcare
Currently, the government of the UAE is seeking to improve the quality of healthcare in the whole country. To reach this goal, the Ministry of Health has emphasized the need for facility accreditation. Ministry officials have stated that all healthcare facilities, both private and public, should obtain accreditation to prove their compliance with international healthcare standards (UAEinteract, 2013).
In trying to enhance the quality of healthcare delivery, the UAE has begun to pay much attention to various aspects that have a substantial influence on the country’s healthcare systems. In this way, the government has examined opportunities for infrastructure improvement as well as the possibility of advanced supply approaches. Thus far, the emphasis has been placed on human resources so that professionals can receive appropriate education, reach higher performance results, and enhance people’s health outcomes. The UAE actively uses new IT technologies and e-services to streamline related procedures and reduce the number of errors in healthcare delivery.
Today, the medical staff is expected to have not only job-related skills but also to have those characteristics needed for decent teamwork, such as leadership and followership. Healthcare facilities apply patient-centric care, develop more metrics for their standards, and maintain frequent safety and quality measurements, all of which provide an opportunity to identify areas of improvement. To improve its healthcare system and make it exemplary, the UAE government funds different programs and carries out hundreds of audit visits to assess the situation (Oxford Business Group, 2016).
Ali, S. (2016). Origins of health care in the UAE. Web.
Bell, J. (2015). Dubai unveils ambitious 10-year healthcare plan. Web.
Oxford Business Group. (2016). Abu Dhabi boosting quality of health care. Web.
The Economist Intelligence Unit. (2015). Investing in quality healthcare in the UAE. Web.
UAEinteract. (2013). Ministry of Health launches new strategy for 2014-2016. Web.
US-UAE Business Council. (2014). The UAE healthcare sector. Web.