The year of 2018 witnessed the establishment of a new law in the healthcare system of Dubai. Law No. 6 on Dubai Healthcare Authority with the objectives of regulating the health sector, ensuring increased competitiveness, operational efficiency, transparency and quality of services in accordance with the applicable policies. UAE places a high priority on health services and community welfare, and developing the sector is one of the most important objectives of the country’s sustainable development plans.
According to the law, DHA will ensure the availability of quality medical insurance programs, improve medical services as per the highest international standards and contribute to providing attractive infrastructure for investments. This law also authorizes DHA to regulate and approve the prices of health services provided by private health facilities in Dubai. Replacing the earlier law (Law No. 13 of 2007), this law focuses on ensuring quality while achieving the goals outlined in the Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021. In the upcoming years, Dubai’s healthcare system will undergo reforms that aim to strengthen the internal governance along with the regulatory functions of DHA.
To ensure the highest quality of services within the Dubai healthcare landscape, it is essential to set a benchmark for healthcare professionals and institutes. In recent years, the Dubai Health Authority has taken measures to license the healthcare professionals within the Emirate. However, the licensing procedure isn’t simple. A rigorous licensing standard has been developed to ensure international best practice in healthcare delivery. The Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ) is the official regulatory body for Dubai Healthcare City operators and practitioners. All healthcare professionals in the free-zones are required to be licensed by the CPQ. The health authority supervises the providers of health services operating within Dubai in accordance with the authority-approved standards and measures.
The CPQ is responsible for upholding the international best practice in healthcare quality and patient care through the licensing, regulating and enforcing healthcare standards for clinical and alternative medicine practice. They also conduct assessments of clinical facilities, facilitating access for Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) based providers to continue medical education. The operation of the Customer Protection Unit (CPU), responsible for processing patient feedback and complaints, also comes under the umbrella of CPQ’s responsibilities.The clinical standards and patient satisfaction are monitored by using the data collected from the CPU. CPQ’s contribution towards ensuring the quality standard in Dubai is wide-ranging. The process for verification of physicians has proven to be so thorough that CPQ is regularly invited to support other healthcare authorities and organizations in their efforts to achieve best practice. It is safe to say that CPQ has raised the bar for healthcare delivery in the region.
The International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) is a member-based, not-for-profit community and organization dedicated to promoting quality improvement in healthcare. The ISQua Accreditation Programme delivers a unique global accreditation service to health and social care external evaluation organizations and standards developing bodies. The CPQ is the only authority in the region to have received the outpatient clinic standards accreditation from ISQua. As a result of the conscious efforts of the healthcare authorities, the number of accredited health facilities in the UAE is rising with every passing year. Authorities are also directing their efforts toward ensuring satisfaction among patients.
A high quality of healthcare services can be ensured through a sustainable health insurance model in the UAE. Mandatory health insurance is critical to equitable access to health. Lower-income residents have an opportunity to receive medical treatment, which inevitably increases the utilization of the healthcare system. Insurers receive an increased number of claims and must manage cost inflation from providers, which pass on costs such as rising wage bills for doctors and workers. Negotiations between regulators, employers, insurers and healthcare providers determine the level of financial resources deployed by the private sector, and thereby influence the quality of care available to those at the different insurance policy levels.
To conclude, Dubai healthcare authorities are ensuring the highest quality of health services to all residents. By 2021, the UAE government’s ambitious plans to improve healthcare service quality could be realized, making it one of the top global destinations for healthcare.