A Ministry of Health and Prevention official (right) explains the service to a visitor at Gitex tech show in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Want to know the price of or have any other doubts about any medicine registered in the UAE? You can now get it clarified through WhatsApp from anywhere in the world.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched a new 24/7 WhatsApp service featuring a registered medical products directory, in yet another significant leap towards digitisation and patient empowerment.

The service will be accessible through smart devices, making essential healthcare information readily available around the clock from credible sources. The integration of this feature into WhatsApp aims to streamline access to crucial data and improve the overall customer experience, the ministry said on Tuesday.

The new service was unveiled during GITEX Global 2023, currently taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 16 to 20. It comes as part of the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to bolster public health awareness, empower individuals with precise information regarding suitable medications, promote adherence to treatment plans, and minimise medication errors, MoHAP said.

It also comes in line with MoHAP’s endeavours to promote its stature as a leading digital health government entity and a pioneer in the constant development of customer-centric services, the ministry said.

How to subscribe

Individuals can subscribe to the service, accessible 24/7, by adding the number 0097142301221 to their contact list on the “WhatsApp” application and sending a “Hi” message to engage directly with the service and view the available options.

With this service, users can easily inquire about medicines registered in the UAE and obtain detailed information about each drug, including its name, active ingredients, pharmaceutical form, package size available in the country, and selling price.

Through the directory, the ministry seeks to provide a comprehensive list of medicines and medical products that have been officially registered through the ministry’s website.

Informed decisions

The service helps patients make informed health decisions as per their needs and doctors’ directives by enhancing transparency and confidence in pharmaceutical products.

Both patients and healthcare providers can thereby access market-approved medical products to fulfil their requirements.

The ministry said the new initiative reflects its keenness to enhance healthcare quality and foster health awareness within the community.

Available via WhatsApp—a highly popular app both in the UAE and globally—the service is unique for being easily accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

Innovative digital services

Ahmed Ali Al Dashti, assistant undersecretary for the Support Services Sector, emphasised that the newly introduced service is part of a suite of projects and initiatives launched by the Ministry to ensure comprehensive, innovative, and proactive health services based on digital data for all societal segments and to furnish institutional services within an efficient, effective digital framework.

“The medical products directory also facilitates easier access for medical professionals and pharmacists to view registered and licensed medicines, searchable by trade or scientific name. The newly developed interactive platform, available in English, offers a distinctive experience aligned with international best practices,” Al Dashti added.

Enhancing customer experience

He highlighted that the service significantly enhances the customer experience by catering to their needs swiftly and simply, around the clock. It aligns with the latest technical advancements, adhering to the standards set by smart government enablers, to cope with the growing demand for the Ministry’s services.

By utilizing WhatsApp, one of the most widely used applications across all societal segments, the service extends its reach to a vast number of customers.

This initiative not only makes essential medicine information more accessible than ever but also reflects our continual commitment to bolstering the health and well-being of our community, Al Dashti stated.

Collaborative initiative

The newly launched initiative is a product of collaboration between the Ministry and health authorities, aligning with the UAE government’s commitment to advancing and safeguarding the rights of patients.

It also underscores the government’s dedication to delivering all necessary services to enhance patients’ capabilities and facilitate their integration into society.

The ministry offers a series of services via WhatsApp including applying for birth certificates, tracking their application status, and attesting both vacation certificates and sick leave requests issued by licensed health facilities within the country.