Dubai: Dubai residents will now have the convenience of consulting experts and specialist clinics under Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) in 22 free zones across the length and breadth of the emirate with a new agreement signed between the health authorities and the free zone authorities, said a senior DHCC official.

This is an important move that will enhance the convenience of residents as it will mean getting quality health care consultation in proximity to their workplace or residence. For example, if a resident of Palm Jumeirah or an executive at Dubai Media City needs to consult a specialist at the Dubai Health Care City, he will not have to travel there. He can instead go to the new branch that is closer to his home or office.

This move also bodes well for the health care stakeholders in DHCC who will not just be confined to one office or area but will have the liberty to set up branches in proximity to their home or workplace.

Dr Ramadan Al Beloushi, CEO of the Dubai Health Care City Authority - Regulatory (DHCR) told Gulf News: “Under the new agreement, which will come into effect very soon, all clinics and hospitals in DHCC can apply to open branches in these free zones. These include commercial free zones that contain businesses as well as residential areas.”

Talking of the 22 free zones in Dubai which will have the benefit of having branches of specialist hospitals and clinics, Al Beloushi said: “We have signed an agreement with the Dubai Creative Cluster Authority that includes Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and the Outsourcing free zone. We have also signed an agreement with Trakhees, port customs and free zone authority which has 15 free zones under it including commercial free zones such as Dubai World, Jebel Ali Ports and residential types such as Jumeirah Palm and Jumeirah Village Circle among many others.”

The move makes it easy for the over 121 existing health speciality professionals to seek a one-window clearance at DHCC to set up branches in any of these locations. Dr Al Beloushi gave an illustration: “Today, if a specialist wants to set up a clinic in Jumeirah, he will need clearance from a number of bodies such as Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Dubai Economic Department and so on, whereas in DHCC, since the whole process is integrated, it cuts processing and clearance time by 70 per cent. We now have our own medical fitness centre and will soon have an Emirates ID centre so the entire process of issuing a licence under DHCC visa is very quick.”

The DHCC has its indigenous protocols for licensing, inspection, attending to health complaints, maintaining standards on design set up, reaccreditation, quality control and so on.

Dr Al Beloushi added: “Our high-quality standards have instilled confidence in professionals from Western Europe and the Americas to set up their clinics in DHCC. Quality is an integral component of patient care, and of our outpatient standards that are accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), a global leader in assessing the standards in health care safety and quality, and the only organisation that ‘accredits the accreditors’. The DHCR has been awarded the Dubai Outpatient Clinic Quality Standards 3rd edition valid from April 2017 to April 2021.”

The benefit of high-quality control standards eventually filters down to the patient who is able to make use of the excellence in health care facilities

The move has been made to boost the already successful medical tourism programme of Dubai and DHCC hopes the new regulations will attract more of the world’s best health care professionals to set up shop here.