A bird's eye view of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. File
Four public and private individuals on Wednesday said Dubai is ready to welcome anew-medical tourists.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA)-Health Regulation Sector chief executive officer (CEO) Dr. Marwan Al Mulla, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) CEO Issam Kazim, American Hospital Group chief Sherif Beshara, and Mediclinic Middle East chief operating officer Dr. Tarek Fathey attributed the readiness of Dubai on two things.
One, is how Dubai and the entire nation have managed the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. The other are the elements institutionalized, particularly in the last six years, by way of the two-phase Dubai Health Experience (DXH).
The four were at the “Dubai Leads the World’s Comeback” forum via the DXH Connect on You Tube, moderated by DHA-Health Tourism Department-Health Tourism consultant Linda Abdulla.
Launched in 2014, DXH is the “prestigious brand conceived by the DHA to strengthen the health facilities of Dubai in the world map of health tourism.” The goal is to attract 500,000 medical tourists to Dubai by 2020. It operates through the DXH Consortium, the group of internationally-recognised/accredited and DHA-licensed/approved hospitals and clinics continually working on making the emirate the destination of medical tourists, whatever their concerns are. Some of these facilities are networked with well-established global healthcare systems such as the US-based John Hopkins Hospital and Mayo Clinic, and the U.K.-headquartered King’s College. The other major player in the DXH is the DTCM, responsible for easing up all the travel requirements and needs of all tourists including their safety, comfort and security in the hospitality and tourism-related industries.
Beshara pointed out that a key to the readiness of Dubai has got to do with how investors also take the cue on whether or not to become major industry players in a certain country or locality: the vision of the leaders, the status of the country as well as the stability of the regime and economy.
He and Fathey stressed on the continuous building up of infrastructure and technology and Artificial Intelligence; the openness and the robust funding as well as strong logistical support to the academe, trainings, research and development.
Highlighted in the discussion was the determination of the country’s leaders and local authorities in subduing COVID19 in partnership with the private sector.
Al Mulla cited that so far, four million Polymerase Chain Reaction tests have been completed with “85 per cent recovery rate and the mortality at less than 0.6 per cent.”
As of 12:17 GMT on July 22, the UAE had recorded 57,498 COVID19 cases, 49,964 recoveries and 341 deaths.
Al Mulla said he is looking forward to the half a million medical tourists set to arrive in Dubai.
He also stated in his keynote: “As we all know, the world is currently facing an unprecedented crisis—one that has managed to impact various industry verticals, including health tourism. However, the government’s commitment and effort to address the impact of the pandemic has put us on the path to recovery rather soon. In fact, the exemplary actions of the government has allowed the UAE to be ranked as one of the safest nations during the pandemic. Number one in the Arab Region and one of the world’s Top 10 in managing COVID19.”
Al Mulla said telemedicine has proved to be a great help in keeping non-COVID19 patients address their requirements. He added that DHA boosted the workforce at the height of the global health crisis through “virtual licensing procedures.”
In total, within the DHA workforce as of June 2020 were 39,472 healthcare professionals. From January to June 2020, DHA had licensed and approved the practice of 2,588 healthcare professionals. In the same period, 3,397 health facilities had been licensed to operate with 45 of these newly-established.
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