Seamless health travel in Dubai

Themed on ‘Reimagining healthcare in Dubai’, the maiden Dubai International Health Tourism Forum brought together around 1,000 experts from the health, tourism and travel arena. The event provided an ideal platform to discuss latest trends in health tourism, methodologies to ensure patient protection, and ways to enhance patient experience to foster medical tourism.

Shehara Rizly

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi Director, Health Tourism Council & President, Global Healthcare Travel Council
The Global Health Tourism Council (GHTC) will be spearheading the initiative to develop an assessment, and rating system index and awards for health tourism destinations. An assessment and a rating system index will be fully developed by a working group from the council countries within the GHTC council led by me as the president of the council. The award’s scheme would be administered by GHTC while the providers of health-related services and providers of sector supporting services would be assessed on various criteria. The awards will be handed out each year (starting in 2019) at the annual global healthcare travel forum, aimed for the promotion and delivery of healthcare services to all global citizens.

Linda Abdullah Ali Ruhi Consultant–Health Tourism Council, Dubai Health Authority & Head of Organising Committee—DIHTF
The aim of this forum was regional and global exchange of knowledge along with expertise in the field of healthcare and travel experience to enhance the experience of health travel in Dubai and worldwide. The event brought together prominent leaders and pioneers from both the public and private health and travel sectors. As Dubai’s first initiative, this forum gave an opportunity to further understand the strengths, opportunities and trends to develop Dubai as a medical tourism hub in the coming years, whilst giving a comprehensive insight on the global transition in areas like health travel matrix, global index, health travel insurance, technology, patient care and marketing using social media. The event was attended by more than 100 hosted buyers across the region.

Dhiraj Joshi, Partner – PwC ME Health Care Strategy, Deals
Dubai has all the right ingredients for making a mark in health tourism. It is equipped with all the first-world amenities one could ask for. Given its strong emphasis on developing high quality social infrastructure, the decision to make this as their base for doctors becomes easier. Dubai could focus on health, wellness and vanity care offering as it gets identified as a viable destination for such services. It can then proceed with the introduction of compelling offers by forging strong partnerships between clinical, travel and tourism industry.

Akbar Moideen Thumbaym Vice President, Healthcare Division—Thumbay Group
We would like to congratulate Dubai Health Authority (DHA)’s His Excellency Dr Humaid Al Qatami and Dr Layla Al Marzouqi for organising this first-of-its-kind event. The event brought all the industry stakeholders together in working towards achieving the strategies set by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for creating Dubai as a regional medical tourism hub. Thumbay Hospitals have an aggressive strategy to bring in medical tourists to the country. We have an independent company that takes care of medical tourists into the country.

Stephen Smith Operations Director The Health Bank
DXH SmartCare provides a single point of contact based in Dubai to assist in finding the right provider based specifically on your personal needs, peace of mind in coordinating your travel and health logistics, and managing every detail of your journey. We are continuing the vision of Dubai to enhance the quality of services at every level available to medical tourists, creating a vibrant marketplace for a comprehensive and unparalleled experience renowned for exceptional quality in care and tourism. We are proud to work alongside DXH and their partners.

Dr Benosh Haris, Director, Mtresa
Dubai has the second highest doctor to population ratio globally of 33.5 doctors for 10,000 people. Medical tourism thrives only in destinations where the quality of care is very high and Dubai ranks high in this aspect. Dubai must strive to occupy the high end, technology driven, super specialised niche of the medical tourism market which is driven by value. Effects of this action will percolate down to volume based moderate and non-invasive procedures. An important metric that has come into prevalence is patient reported outcome scores.

Jonathan Cooper, Director, Worldwide Insurance Solutions
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has taken the step of introducing a unique travel insurance policy specifically designed for those travellers visiting Dubai for medical procedures and treated at a DXH member medical facility. The policy includes a variety of benefits including coverage for emergency medical expenses. Uniquely, it provides a special coverage that covers the cost of additional medical and repatriation expenses due to an unforeseen medical complication, up to $25,000, that most “normal” travel insurance policies will not provide.

Sho Ahad-Choudhury, CEO, DNA Health
We are delighted to be supporting the vision of Dubai in establishing the destination as a health tourism hub. We work together with various international tour operators to bring in many health and wellness-oriented tourists to Dubai so that they can enjoy their holiday whilst checking on their wellbeing too. We are based in Madinat Jumeirah and our packages define healthcare tourism as we tailor make them in such a way that the treatment schedules are incorporated around the holiday schedule of travellers.


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