As growing metropolis for company setup in UAE, a powerhouse of technological innovation and a popular tourist destination, Dubai ranks in the 4th slot as the most visited city in the world.
Due to Dubai’s state of the art medical facilities and world-class infrastructure, medical tourists from different countries arrive in the UAE to obtain the best treatment in the world. In 2016 alone, medical tourists registered to an all-time high of 300,000, seeking medical care related to cardiology, oncology, cardiac surgery, bariatric surgery, orthopedic surgery, treatments for infertility and organ, cell and tissue transplantation.
To provide coverage against unseen complications arising during, or after a medical procedure, the government of UAE will introduce mandatory medical health insurance for health tourists. The reform will improve medical billing transparency and safety of tourists while ensuring the provision of proper insurance mechanisms. On a session regarding patient support by various local and international insurance companies, the director of Health Funding Department Haider Al Yosuf spoke at the second day of the Dubai International Health Tourism Forum, announcing the final staging of the new medical tourist insurance policy and its prompt implementation.
He said, “This program has been in operation for health tourists for a while, but was optional. We are working with the Health Tourism Council to make the policy mandatory and embed it in the travel insurance required. This will improve the trust of any potential health tourist in Dubai, in the sense that if something goes wrong, they are fully covered”.
Currently, the global market for medical tourism has around 12-14 million travelers with an estimated worth of $40-60 billion. By 2023, the number is expected to increase by 165 million. With over 15 million tourists arriving in Dubai each year, this plan will give robust medical security in case of any emergency procedures or uninvited complications resulting from human errors.
In November 2013, medical insurance was made mandatory for expats, urging Dubai company setup consultancy and HR agencies to incorporate insurance for foreign employees during visa process. Since then, every foreign employee in UAE is required by law to register for medical insurance.