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Dubai Health Strategy 2021 on track

Technology, innovation and health care delivery are at the forefront

Gulf News

Dubai: A patient-centric approach, coupled with smart innovations and efficient health care delivery mechanisms are some of the intrinsic methods of achieving health care excellence as per the goals of the Dubai Health Strategy (DHS) 2021. Two year after the strategy was announced it is on track for achieving its goals, says senior officials at Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Achieving a mandatory insurance health cover for more than 98 per cent of Dubai residents, completing a comprehensive electronic medical record of all Dubai Health Authority (DHA) patients and getting international accreditation for a majority of its hospitals are few of the milestones achieved by DHA as part of the DHS strategy 2021.

Speaking to Gulf News, Fatima Abbas, Director of Health Policy and Strategy at DHA said: “Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021 has three key goals — drive innovation and ensure governance, protect and improve population health and ensure patient happiness by providing world-class health services. These goals are aimed to fulfil the DHA’s vision of moving towards a healthier and happier community. Our focus is working across a continuum of care, starting from early prevention and detection of disease all the way to rehabilitation.”

Abbas added that in the last two years, the DHA had accomplished several key tasks keeping in mind the top three goals and all the initiatives of the strategy, which were divided into immediate, medium and long-term goals.

Keeping innovation as a key part of the DHA strategy, the organisation is currently establishing it’s innovation centre and partnering with world leaders in health care and pharmaceutical industries to work on addressing the region’s health care challenges, utilising the best research minds and people’s capabilities, and leveraging the best practices, Abbas pointed out.

In addition to this, DHA has been a vital member of Dubai Future Foundation Accelerator programmes for the past three cycles, and managed to partner up with a number of companies on implementing innovations in the health care delivery.

Talking about the smart technology implemented by DHA Dr Mohammed Al Redha, Director of Organisational Transformation at the DHA said: “DHA has already utilised a number of technologies and advancements in its day-to-day health care delivery, such as 3D printing for prosthetics, dentures, and cosmetics.”

Furthermore, DHA has also implemented telemedicine, and is now implementing the RoboDoc, which enables specialists to give their expert opinion to cases in remote areas, or for patients who are less mobile. Using smart technology and innovation is a priority for the DHA and in the years to come, patients, medical professionals and the overall health sector will see the direct benefits of such initiatives.

Dubai Health Strategy 2021 achievements at a glance:

1. Implementing easier medical regulation processes in line with international best practices. Total number of health professional licences increased by 15 per cent and number of license facilities increased by about 27 per cent.

2. DHA is working on revamping its health governance structure, which will result in increased accountability of hospitals and will further improve patient safety and experience.

3. DHA has adopted new health technologies such as telemedicine, RoboDoc and 3D printing with the aim of fostering innovation across the continuum of care in addition to use of smart applications.

4. On the electronic medical record front, the DHA has completed implementation of the records across all its facilities. Recently, Rashid Hospital, Dubai Hospital and 12 health centres of DHA were felicitated with an award for achieving EMRAM stage 6 of patient data maturity.

5. As of now, 92 per cent of hospitals in Dubai have completed their international accreditation, which is a significant jump from 86 per cent in 2015.

6. Number of physicians per 10,000 of the population has reached 33 exceeding the national level (27) and is approaching the level achieved by Sweden (39)

7. Insurance coverage for all Dubai residents has been a direct source of patient happiness and today 98 per cent of Dubai residents have been covered under the mandatory health insurance scheme.

8. Life expectancy of Dubai residents has reached almost 80 years exceeding that of the United States and approaching the United Kingdom and Japan.