Evolution of The Healthcare Sector in UAE

UAE's healthcare has evolved exponentially over the years and today boasts of a range of specialized services that makes it stand out in an ever-changing country. The Arab Health 2018 exemplified this trend of UAE offering a new range of services for residents which lend it an aura and a grace. The 43rd version of the event was held in February 2018 and the findings included the remarkable improvement in UAE's healthcare sector. 

The early days…

The beginning of healthcare for Dubai was the opening of a small healthcare centre in Al Ras area.The first phase of the Al Maktoum Hospital was built, with just 157 beds, under the patronage of His Highness the late Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum. The healthcare facilities were poor, to say the least. There was paucity of resources, and because of this, there wasn't a way to get things done fast. Patients often suffered at the hands of doctors, who were inexperienced and did not have access to the latest technologies. But all this underwent a drastic change.

The evolution

The evolution of modern health care in the United Arab Emirates can be traced to 1960, when Sheikhs Shakhbut and Zayed of Abu Dhabi visited an American mission in Muscat and were so impressed by the work being done that they decided to invite the couple in charge of that mission, Pat and Marian Kennedy to open a clinic in Al Ain. The clinic was finally opened in the same year in November and was officially named as the Oasis Hospital and was unofficially known as the “Kennedy Hospital” to local people. This also led to opening of a new hospital, the Central Hospital in 1968 by the then ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed. Gradually, the private sector also started making contributions.

Emerging medical hub

The U.A.E healthcare sector is expanding rapidly to meet both the evolving needs of a growing population and the nation’s ambition to become a regional medical tourism hub. The government has taken on a series of long-term initiatives to bring about a balanced growth and combine sustainable growth in this sector with looking after the population's immediate needs. Three public-sector institutions play a major role in U.A.E. healthcare provision: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). 

Numbers speak for themselves!

Numbers matter, especially because the statistics speak for themselves: 65 hospitals in the UAE, 15 of them federal institutions and over 150 primary health-care centres and clinics, in addition to 11 school health centres, 10 centres for mothers and children and 110 special units for mothers and children in hospitals and primary health-care centres. The government is investing heavily in healthcare.

Leading the way in radical technologies

The year 2017 has proved to be a turning point for the healthcare sector in the UAE as it witnessed the first multiorgan cadaver transplant that conformed to the new cadaver donor regulations of the federal health ministry.

Two cadaver kidney transplants and one full heart transplant in December from a single donor helped save three lives in the UAE at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Health Challenges

Lifestyle habits induced by poor nutrition, sedentary behavior, and smoking have led to several problems within the country. The World Health Organization’s World Health Statistics 2015 report estimated that 33.8% of adult men and 45.1% of adult women in the U.A.E. are clinically obese. This is a grim picture and means that lifestyle diseases are threatening the very fabric of civil society.

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