Home healthcare
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Dubai: Whether you are constrained by old age, physical challenges like a recent injury or are a person of determination, home health care is one of the most conveniencet ways in which you can receive necessary medical care and attention without leaving the comfort of your home.

In 2018, Dubai’s healthcare system was ranked amongst the top ten in the world according to the Bloomberg’s Health Care Efficiency Report. Since 2012, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has been working towards improving its services for home healthcare. But with increasing demands from a growing population and demographic changes, there are greater demands on the healthcare systems for effective care.

What is home healthcare?

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Home healthcare is a service offered by hospitals, clinics and medical centres where patients receive health services in the convenience of their homes. Home healthcare services are provided for the elderly, those recovering from accidents or illnesses, to people of determination, and mothers and babies.

Which services are provided?

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These are some of the services provided by the government and private healthcare providers at home:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Nursing services
  • Laboratory services
  • Pharmaceuticals delivery
  • Palliative care
  • Stroke recovery, senior care, post-surgery care, post discharge care, wound care, and disease management

How to get home healthcare as a UAE citizen?

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Home healthcare services are provided by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) for free to UAE citizens under the service name ‘Home mobile healthcare’. The Ministry states that the service “provides high-quality services to the aged and people of determination who do not have access to health services. It serves to enhance their sense of safety and support in a family-like environment while maintaining their dignity and privacy. This service also reduces the burden on hospitals and the complications of chronic diseases by following up on patients at their homes.”

Conditions and requirements

This service is restricted to UAE citizens who are eligible for the home healthcare programme:

• Patients with mental and intellectual illnesses who require home healthcare.

• The patient or his/her guardian (if not capable) must sign an acknowledgment of home healthcare services.

• Those for whom it is difficult to access health services due to problems with movement or paralysis.

• Bedridden people who need continuous health monitoring.

Which documents will I need?

  • A valid Health Card
  • A valid Emirates ID card
  • A detailed medical report stating the medical condition
  • One passport-sized photo

Service steps

  1. The required documents must be submitted to the health center that provides the service.
  2. An appointment must be made for the team concerned to visit the home of the patient/service recipient to assess the situation.
  3. In the event of acceptance, the patient or guardian (if not capable) must sign an acknowledgment of the home healthcare.
  4. The patient and his/her family will be informed of the acceptance or rejection of the patient along with the reasons.
  5. A schedule of home visits will be determined for those accepted.

Service locations

The service is available at the following primary healthcare centers:

Fujairah: Al Khulaibiya Health Center, Al Siji Health Center, Al Faseel Health Center

Ras Al Khaimah: Julphar Center, Al Munaiy Center

Umm Al Quwain: Falaj Al Mualla Health Center, Al Khazzan Health Center

Ajman: Mushairif Center, City Center, Al Hamidiya Center, Manama Center, Muzayra Center

For more information, contact Ministry of Health and Prevention on 800 111 11.

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In Abu Dhabi, UAE nationals taking the Daman health insurance are covered for home healthcare under the Thiqa programme.

In Dubai, the Enaya programme by Dubai Health Authority as well as other programmes like Isahd and Saada cover UAE nationals. Community Development Authority in Dubai runs 'Elderly Happiness' and 'Home Care (Weleef)' initiatives that ensure rehabilitation, care and happiness of senior citizens.

How to get home healthcare as an expatriate?

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Residents in the UAE can also receive home healthcare. There are several service providers, from well-established multispecialty hospitals to medical centres that provide home healthcare services. However, it is important for first check if your insurance covers home healthcare and also check the licensing of the service provider before registering for medical services.

In Dubai, you can check the medical registry by Dubai Health Authority to check for the licencing of a company here.

You can validate the licence of an Abu Dhabi based healthcare service here.

Is home healthcare covered by health insurance?

For UAE nationals, several programmes offer support and home healthcare at low costs or no cost at all.

For UAE residents, while the essential benefits plan does not normally cover home healthcare, many comprehensive plans have provisions for home healthcare, which should be checked at the time of taking up the health insurance. Speak to your service provider on whether they cover home healthcare and also confirm with your preferred medical service provider on whether they are empaneled with the insurance provider. For more details on how to get a health insurance, click here.

- The writer is an intern with the social media desk of Gulf News