UAE | Health

Sharp rise: Health at a cost

Government hospitals in Dubai hike charges to 'cover expenses'

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 April 22, 2010

  • Image Credit: Xpress /Zarina Fernandes
  • Trauma Centre at Rashid Hospital. The hospital has also increased charges

DUBAI: Government hospitals in Dubai have increased prices of several procedures and services, XPRESS can exclusively reveal.

A spokesperson of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said: "Prices of certain procedures at our hospitals have increased, but prices are still very competitive when compared to the private sector. An important point which one needs to take into consideration is that for years, our prices have remained the same and thus, we felt that we needed to raise the price to ensure we cover our expenses."

The husband of a woman due for delivery at Al Wasl Hospital was however not impressed. "Doesn't the government or hospital advertise any increment well in advance?," he asked after his wife registered there because they had found the delivery charges of Dh4,500 affordable. He said he had paid an advance of Dh2,500, but two weeks before the delivery this month, he discovered that the cost had gone up to Dh9,500.

Cash effect

"Honestly, I cannot raise that much cash," he said, adding, "What action would the government take for those with low salaries?"

According to the revised maternity packages at Al Wasl Hospital and Dubai Hospital, both operating under the DHA, the fee for a normal delivery reportedly costs Dh7,000 with a two-day hospital stay, while a caesarean section costs Dh10,000 with a four-day hospital stay. The charges for a normal delivery and stay in a private room now costs up to Dh9,000, while a caesarean section and stay in a private room costs Dh12,000.

Inquiries at the Rashid Hospital revealed that patients will now be required to cough up Dh3,100 per day for stay at the ICU.

While X-rays will cost Dh120, up from Dh50, charges for CT scans and mammograms have gone up to Dh500 from Dh100-Dh150 earlier.

The cost of MRIs has doubled from Dh600 to Dh1,200, with most surgeries costing more, sources said, adding that there will be no change in consultation and room charges.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 23:59 April 22, 2010

    At a time when the government needs to be taking measures to keep prices in check, the opposite seems to be happening. This is close to 100 per cent hike in fees, which is comparable to the fees of private hospitals. Al Raffa Maternity hospital, Mankhool, charges around Dh7,000 for a normal delivery and Dh12,000 approximately for a C-section. Surely hospitals need to give advance notice of such major hikes to enable patients make informed choices. My wife was registered with a government hospital as it was one of the few affordable ones in Dubai. Now we have to cough up close to double the amount we originally planned for. With salaries dropping sharply and prices of basic healthcare rising, Dubai is fast becoming unaffordable for the middle class.

    S, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:23 April 22, 2010

    Do we need to migrate before having a child? Looks like a low income family must have a travel plan ready before childbirth.

    Mohammad Jahangir Kabir, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:39 April 22, 2010

    It’s strange that the cost of healthcare, which has almost doubled, is said to be “competitive”. It’s a kind of ignorant statement.

    Waquar, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:30 April 22, 2010

    This is just ridiculous. The purpose of government hospitals is to serve the nation and ensure that medical aid and treatment are available to all -- rich and poor. The decision to hike up costs shows that government hospitals are operating with one thing in mind: how to cash-in on people and increase profits. As a normal citizen, I expect government hospitals to provide basic medical care at the cheapest possible cost rather than justify the hike by comparing the charges with those of private hospitals. If a common man has enough money, he/she would automatically head towards a medical centre recommended by the doctor regardless of the price tag. I would request authorities to kindly reconsider this move and try to provide medical service at an affordable cost. Please consider a common man’s average income.

    Saeed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:09 April 22, 2010

    Does this hike in government hospital charges mean that private hospitals may also increase their costs? Given this increase in treatment costs, the government must implement a rule which will allow patients to claim all charges through insurance. As per the current rule, we cannot claim any money from the insurance if we are treated in government hospitals. I hope that the health authority looks into this and provides some relief to the average person and save him from ever rising costs.

    Tamara, Dubai, Sri Lanka