As the UAE's population continues its upward trend due to its popularity among expatriates, a corresponding increase is being experienced in demand for quality healthcare services. This has motivated local medical facilities to redouble their efforts to recruit more professionals, upgrade their equipment and expand their areas of specialty.
Given that healthcare is a necessity and not a luxury, it is hardly surprising that population growth would spark greater healthcare demand. However what makes the situation more complex is that the UAE is already a favorite among medical tourists, meaning the sector is facing two-way demands from external and internal patients.
UAE medical community has the capacity to absorb the rising demand
Commenting on the dynamics of this demand, Mr Sobhi Abdel Jaleel Batterjee, owner and president of one of the nation's most highly respected facilities, Saudi German Hospital-Dubai, said: "In any other country, this growth in demand would put medical facilities under pressure. But the UAE is not like any other country, and our medical fraternity already has the capacity to absorb the rising demand. However, at Saudi German Hospital-Dubai we are not just looking at the short-term, but proactively planning for long-term demand by recruiting the sharpest specialists from high-prestige medical institutions worldwide. Allied to this is our massive investment in 21st century medical technology."
UAE is ranked number 1 globally in the number of JCI accredited facilities
These sentiments about the superiority of the UAE's medical sector are backed up by the fact that the country is ranked number 1 globally in the number of JCI accredited facilities, leading the pack with 54 accredited providers. By raising healthcare standards, the UAE is also helping fellow GCC countries to upgrade their medical infrastructure to cater to millions of patients per year.
Examining the situation closer, Mr Sobhi Abdel Jaleel Batterjee, owner and president of Saudi German Hospital-Dubai added: "This is a complex scenario which cannot just be remedied by increasing the quantity of hospitals, but the quality as well. That's because the UAE has an incredibly cosmopolitan population, which yields a broad range of medical conditions of every description. Each demographic group has conditions that are more common to its group. For instance high income groups tend to have more chronic diseases. In comparison the "blue collar" demographic has more workplace related injuries. Again, older patients are likely to have very different health concerns than teenagers, who typically suffer more road accident injuries."
UAE's health sector will increase its investments to comfortably keep pace with the growing demand
It is anticipated that the UAE's health sector will increase its investments to comfortably keep pace with the growing demand, and consolidate its position as a superior healthcare sector.