Regulation of medical practice. Think of the Emirate of Dubai as a separate State like in the USA. The Dubai government requires that a physician obtains a license by the Dubai Department of Health (DOH). Abu Dhabi has its own licensing authorities (HAAD). All other Emirates in the UAE require a separate license obtained by the Ministry of Health in Abu Dhabi (MOH). The Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) requires yet another license.A physician may not practice in more than one Emirate at the same time and may not open a practice without a UAE local sponsor/partner unless working in a free zone such as DHCC.
You can import many things without a problem but must pay 5% import tax or custom duty. While you can save 25-50% on some items bought directly from abroad, be careful buying equipment that needs heavy or frequent maintenance. Recently introduced regulations requires that any medical equipment, cosmetics or food supplements be registered in the MOH before improting it.
The private sector is booming all over the Middle East since the governments are gradually privatizing health care and the population is exploding. The Gulf people have one of the highest fertility rates in the world with the average family having six children. Diabetes is the highest in the world with some 20% of the population affected. Smoking is unfortunately very preveklant among expats and is growing among the young Emaratis as well due to cheap cigarettes dispite the government efforts to curb smoking.
The recent selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Soccer Cup shall boost both the the economies of Dubai and Qatar as spending on construction and mass transit increases. What does Dubai has to do with it? Well Dubai is the preferred business hub in the region.
Insurance penetration is about 70% and growing. Medical insurance is mandatory in Abu Dhabi and shall become mandatory in Dubai in the near future.
In term of insurance (fee for service), UAE is about four years behind the USA. But the game of catching up has started. It will take 3-5 years in my estimation for us to get where the US is now (capitation, HMO’s …etc…)
The malpractice insurance is low since it is still very uncommon to sue or to get huge settlements.
There are tons of doctors but few truly superb onesin terms of having the magic six requirements:
Good US education or equivalent with a sub-specialty
Three to five year post graduate experience
Ethical (honest medical advice and ethical practice)
Personable/charming personality (Good bedside manners)
Able to work as a team (Not egomaniacs)
Motivated enough to want to be available to their patients and do take time to explain.