The Survey is an important step in identifying the gaps in Dubai’s healthcare market and will aid in planning for the future of healthcare services in Dubai
United Arab Emirates, Dubai, August 28, 2012: The Dubai Health Authority will conduct the Emirate’s first comprehensive survey of healthcare facilities in Dubai from September 2nd to October 25th 2012. This survey is part of the initiatives of the Dubai Health Sector Strategy and it aims to improve quality, access and efficiency of healthcare services in Dubai and encourage investment in the healthcare services by providing the necessary information for investors.
Titled the “Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan 2020” (DCSCP), the survey will gather detailed information on the current healthcare facilities and service utilization. This will be done through primary surveys, site visits and telephonic communication, depending on the type of facility.
His Excellency Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director-General of Dubai Health Authority, said that this is the first-of-its-kind in-depth healthcare capacity analysis for the Emirate of Dubai and will further help the health sector grow by leaps and bounds. He said, “ The survey will take place across all public and private hospitals, polyclinics, diagnostic centers, and primary healthcare centers. This project is of critical importance as we will use this data to develop a detailed present and future healthcare services needs assessment for the coming 10 years. Once we complete analyzing this data, a comprehensive Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan will be developed which will include detailed, evidence-based projections of supply and demand for medical and allied health services in the Emirate of Dubai until 2020.”
Al Murooshid pointed out the importance of the Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan in improving the quality of services, in aiding healthcare services expansion, facilitating investment promotion, capital investment and manpower development. He said: “The DCSCP is in line with the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 and fulfills a number of objectives laid out in the plan including promoting a 70 per cent private and 30 per cent public share in healthcare services. The DHA would like to build specialized healthcare facilities such as the Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital and other projects where a high investment is required. So in the long run we hope that government hospitals have a 30 per cent market share , while 70 per cent of the share should belong to hospitals in the private sector. We consider the private sector to be our major partner in the healthcare industry. This clinical capacity plan will help point out the specialties and sub-specialties where investment is needed, thus ensuring demand is rightly fulfilled for the people of Dubai and at the same time the investors get a better return on his investment as they will be investing in a specialties which are needed in the Emirate of Dubai.”
He added that the DHA health policy and strategy sector and DHA health regulation will liaise with various stakeholders for this project including the MOH, DHCC, the private sector, and the free zone areas at a later stage in the DCSCP, they will be consulted in terms of planning for the future of healthcare services. He added that the success of this plan which is at the level of the Emirate, is possible with the collaboration and coordination with strategic partners in the health sector.
Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA, said that a major challenge in planning for the healthcare services is to achieve an optimal balance between supply and demand and to ensure a sufficient supply of services, facilities, professionals, and modern medical equipment and technologies to meet the population's actual needs and the demand for medical tourism in Dubai. “This is a challenging task in all health systems but more so in those places that are experiencing rapid population growth. We aim to fulfill the ambitious aspirations of our leaders and we understand that meeting these challenges requires sophisticated approach which includes rich local data. Currently there is lack of precise detailed information about the healthcare services in Dubai by specialties and subspecialties. The data available through secondary sources is not adequate for setting the Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan, resulting in the need to carry out site visits and primary data collection from healthcare facilities. Once this data is ready, we expect that by April 2013, we will present Dubai with the healthcare clinical capacity plan, which will be based on evidence based analysis.”
Dr. Awatif Abuhaliga, Head, Policy, Strategy & Planning at DHA, said: “ The data we will gather and analyze is extremely comprehensive and will include details such as patients by specialty and sub-specialty average length of stay of patients, bed-space capacity, availability of support services such as imaging and laboratory services etc. Such data is vital to prepare a 10-year healthcare capacity plan for the Emirate of Dubai. The healthcare sector is very different from all other service delivery sectors. In other service provision sectors, the presence of oversupply will benefit the customers as the increase in competition will lead to increase in quality and drop in price. This equation is not applicable in healthcare services where all healthcare professionals such as physicians, surgeons and nurses, need the right volume of cases and case mix in order to maintain their skills. Similarly, when supply in healthcare is way above demand, healthcare staff would loose their skills overtime and the quality of services will drop. Thus, the DCSCP will give us the chance to carefully study the supply versus demand in the Dubai healthcare sector and act upon results for a brighter future. On the one hand, it will show us saturated areas where we should not issue additional licenses which will serve the current healthcare providers well by not adding new competitors. It will also show gaps in healthcare provision in Dubai so interested investors can have the best return on investment, as well as meeting Dubai population’s and medical tourists needs.
Dr. Awatif added: “There will be a close collaboration with DHA Hospital Services Sector and Primary Services Sector to ensure participation of all DHA healthcare facilities in the surveys and the health regulation department will play a major role in encouraging all the private and the free zone healthcare facilities in Dubai to take part in the survey and provide the requested information within the specified time period. Finally, I would like to extend our appreciation to our strategic partners ,- the Ministry of Health and Dubai Healthcare City- for their cooperation in participating with us to shape the future of health services in Dubai.