Dubai's Iranian Hospital Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has issued a notice to insurance companies, instructing them to immediately suspend the Iranian Hospital from their policies.

“The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) would like to inform customers of the Iranian Hospital in Dubai (including its Safa clinic and pharmacy) that it will cease health insurance procedures until the hospital meets the licensing regulations followed by all private health facilities in Dubai,” the regulator said in a statement to Gulf News.

“Inpatients currently under treatment at the hospital and emergency patients will be exempted to ensure their health and safety,” the statement added.

Insurance firms intend to comply

According to multiple internal emails reviewed by Gulf News, every single insurance firm in Dubai was informed on Wednesday of the change in policy.

Some of the companies that received the notice include Axa, Daman, Takaful Emarat, and MetLife.

On Wednesday, insurance broker Nasco emailed clients, informing them of the decision.

“There has been recent instruction received from Dubai Health Authority…to immediately suspend Iranian Hospital for all insurance companies,” the company wrote in an email.

Axa and MetLife intend to comply with the instruction, representatives from the two companies said on Thursday.

Takaful Emarat will comply with the circular received from the authorities, and a spokesperson for Daman could not be reached.

Oman Insurance said in a statement that they dropped the Iranian Hospital from their policies in June as a result of the reimposition of US sanctions on Iran.

Iranian hospital response

When reached by telephone, an executive at the Iranian Hospital confirmed the Dubai Health Authority’s decision, but refused to say why it had been made.

“This is a private and interdisciplinary matter, not for the public,” the person said.

Elsewhere, insurance companies have been contacting clients to inform them of the decision.

Bayzat, a Dubai-based online brokerage, emailed their customers on Thursday morning to inform them of the decision.

“Kindly refrain from visiting these establishments,” the email stated.

An email sent to salespeople and brokers at state-linked insurer Daman stated the same. “The DHA has instructed all health insurance companies to suspend the Iranian Hospital,” stated an email sent to staff.

Opened in 1972 and located close to the Iranian consulate, the Iranian Hospital is one of the oldest medical facilities in the country.

“We regret the inconvenience caused and hope that the hospital will promptly rectify its situation and get the needed license in line with the regulatory procedures followed by all private hospitals in Dubai,” the health authority said.