Dubai: It is difficult to think straight during a medical emergency. Even if you have come down with a flu or are suddenly experiencing excruciating toothache, it can be difficult to find the right doctor, especially if you are new to the UAE. However, there are certain ways in which you can ensure that you are able to find the medical practitioner you need.
According to the 2014 statistics released by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), there were 79 hospitals, 10,165 physicians and 16,882 nurses in the private sector. In the public sector, there were 36 government-run hospitals, 6,504 physicians and 16,547 nurses.
To provide better healthcare services and to ease access to health facilities, the UAE has opened healthcare cities. These are complexes having clinics of various specialties. Presently, there are three healthcare cities in the UAE – one each in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
Check with your acquaintances
Perhaps the most trusted way of finding a good physician is by speaking with your friends and colleagues who might have lived in the UAE for longer. While it is not necessary that two patients have the same experience with a doctor, it can be a great means of support when you are in a spot of bother to first get recommendations from people you know.
If you are still unable to get a satisfactory answer, thankfully the smart government initiatives in the UAE have led to exhaustive databases of medical and paramedical practitioners available through websites, apps and on hotlines.
Follow these steps to find the best hospital, clinic, doctor or pharmacy, no matter where you are in the UAE.
In case of emergency
The first number to remember is 998.
This will get you an ambulance, no matter where you are in the UAE. An air ambulance may also be sent for the patient, if needed.
998The UAE-wide number to call for a medical emergency
During medical emergencies, a hospital will accept you for initial treatment and may consequently transfer you to a hospital better equipped to deal with your problem.
The UAE provides standard medical care and visitors can easily obtain medical treatment from either private or government hospitals. In case of emergency, treatment to stabilise the case is free. Other treatment must be paid for by cash, credit card or insurance.
Where can I find a government healthcare centre?
The UAE has public clinics, hospitals and several primary healthcare centres. While Abu Dhabi and Dubai have separate authorities taking care of the healthcare sector, the other emirates fall under the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP).
Abu Dhabi Government
Dubai Health Authority
Ministry of Health and Prevention
You can find healthcare centres operated by MOHAP, which caters to Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah, here.
How can I find a hospital or clinic?
To find a hospital in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, click here
For hospitals in Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, click here
How can I find a doctor?
For Dubai Healthcare city doctors, you can check out the list provided in the link.
You can also make an appointment online with a specialist doctor from Dubai Healthcare City
Find a doctor in Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah via the MOHAP website
Find a pharmacy
Here is a list of pharmacies in the emirates of:
Medical tourism portals
The UAE launched medical tourism portals which allow international medical tourists to book procedures and access a wide range of tourism services such as direct contact with healthcare providers, visa issuance, booking appointments, hotels, transportation and other recreational activities.
There are many health portals that enable patients to view their health profiles, medical results, and book appointments online. Some of the portals are:
Smart patient portal system - Ministry of Health and Prevention
e-Malaffi portal – Seha in Abu Dhabi
Salama Electronic Medical Record System (under process) – Dubai Health Authority
Check the websites of hospitals in your neighbourhood
There are well-established UAE-based hospitals that have a network of hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres across the UAE. A great way to find out if you can visit the hospital would be by checking out their websites. Most hospitals enlist all the doctors (resident as well as visiting) they have along with their specialties, hours and appointment facilities.
There are several third party apps and websites that offer UAE residents the ability to scan a list of doctors, make appointments, get video consultation or even at home care. A quick online search can throw up several options but it is crucial to check the doctor’s registration against the online databases provided above.