The Dubai Health Authority announced the launch of the first Dubai International Medical Tourism Forum, that will take on February 20-21.
The two-day forum based on the theme ‘Reimagining Experience’ will bring together prominent leaders and speakers from the public and private health and travel sectors who will discuss the latest trends in health tourism, methodologies to ensure patient protection, patient insurance, and strategies to create an overall environment that fosters medical tourism.
The forum will comprise a conference followed by an exhibition that will see over 30 international and local hospitals and healthcare facilities take part in the exhibition; eight scientific panels; and over 40 international speakers who will engage in thought-provoking and future-focused dialogues that aim to enhance the experience of health travel in Dubai and worldwide.
Humaid Al Qutami, chairman of the board and director-general of the Dubai Health Authority, said: “In line with the vision of our leaders, the DHA is working towards developing a robust medical tourism sector in Dubai. In 2016, Dubai witnessed an overall growth of 9-10 per cent in the number of medical and health tourists in Dubai and the emirate received 326,649 international medical tourists.
“Revenue generated from international patients was worth over Dh1 billion, reinforcing the growing contribution of the sector to the national GDP. Dubai’s attractive location along with the availability of high-quality medical professionals and technology has enabled the city to build a strong and favourable platform to build its medical tourism capabilities. We are constantly working on developing this sector keeping in mind patient safety, high-quality health services and excellent patient experience.”
Giving good news to medical tourists, Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, director of Health Tourism Council, said: ” Now we have made it very easy to get health visa for medical tourists who can obtain this visa in just 48 hours and it can be renewed easily upon presenting your medical report for another three months. This can be done both for the patient as well as his or her accompanying relative. Dubai’s efforts are aimed at easing the entire patient journey.”
Dr Al Marzouqi, said that with the availability of modern technology and infrastructure, each patient can investigate and arrange healthcare facilities remotely using a trusted website and medical facilitators.
“DXH.ae, the official health tourism website of Dubai, gets average of 10,000 visitors on a monthly basis looking for various types of information to help identify desired medical treatment.The packages clearly outline the cost, inclusions, and exclusions. The comprehensive packages listed on the portal combine both leisure and health including, hotel accommodation, visa and insurance along with the selected medical treatments. The portal also offers options to request an appointment and 24X7 live chat,” said Dr Al Marzouqi.
Some of the topics to be covered in the forum include the impact of technological innovation on health tourism such as telemedicine, artificial intelligence; social media influencing the health tourism industry; future of health tourism; and health tourism across borders.
Linda Abdullah, consultant, the Health Tourism Council at DHA, said: “We want health tourists to embrace their wellness journey in the city of Dubai, via our wellness offerings that include preventive health screenings, DNA tests, detox and weight loss programmes, anti-aging treatments, diabetes management and alternative medicines to name few.”
Dubai has around 3,000 private health facilities ranging from hospitals, specialised clinics to day-surgery centres with around 35,000 health specialists from more than 110 different nationalities working in the sector. These numbers are expected to grow to 40,000 specialists and 4,000 health centres by 2020.