Healthcare In Dubai
Healthcare in Dubai and what you need to do to access it. Plus essential steps to protect your health while living in the UAE.
If you are planning to move to the UAE, healthcare in Dubai won’t disappoint you. As long as you and your family are insured you will have access to good hospitals, skilled doctors and modern medical facilities.
Dubai has made health insurance compulsory for expats, visitors and residents. Although in most cases it’s the responsibility of employers to cover their staff, sometimes it can add financial burden to your bank account as well, especially if you have dependents.
Most medical facilities and healthcare in Dubai, in general, are up to Western or European standards. However, because the government allowed free access to medical services to all qualifying individuals, doctors are stretched in terms of their time – and facilities and amenities are also under pressure. This is what mandatory health insurance in Dubai aims to rectify.
Ultimately it’s worth keeping in mind the fact that Dubai has long-term plans to become a centre for medical excellence and tourism, and it’s therefore seen as essential that they raise the standards in terms of the consistency of what they can offer.
The majority of Britons who relocate to the emirate do so to take up employment. Under a new law employers are responsible for insuring their staff, but not dependents, although some employers do provide cover for dependents as well. If you’re thinking of living in Dubai and you’ll be working in the UAE, do inquire whether your employer will cover your family. If not, and private insurance seems too expensive for you, the Essential Benefits Plan will be your best choice.
According to the National Travel and Health Network and Centre, which is commissioned by the Health Protection Agency in the UK, expats in Dubai are potentially at risk of hepatitis A and B, rabies and tetanus, therefore you should seek personal medical advice from your GP before moving to Dubai to determine whether you should undergo a vaccination program.
Most expats don’t bother. However, the official word is that you should at least consider your options.
In terms of staying healthy in Dubai, the sun is a very important factor to consider. In the UK we see it so infrequently that when in a sunny nation we’re often guilty of overexposure. Bear in mind that the temperatures in the middle of the day in Dubai in the peak of the summer can top 50 degrees centigrade…that is not a temperature the human body can easily deal with.
Respect the sun, respect the heat. Some of the most common health complaints suffered by Dubai residents are as a result of excessive heat. When travelling even short distances in your car ensure you have plenty of water on board in case you get stuck in a jam or break down, as dehydration is also a high risk.
Otherwise, despite screening all new residents, sexually transmitted diseases are present in Dubai. Most expats prefer to drink bottled water; additionally, be careful of food hygiene as dodgy tummies are very common in the emirate!