Dubai: UAE citizens will now have free access to consultations from doctors 24/7 from the comfort of their own homes or other locations in Dubai.
The novel initiative ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ was launched by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in Dubai on Tuesday.
Unveiling the initiative, Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA and Chairman of the board of directors, said: “This initiative seeks to fulfil the promise enshrined in Article 5 of the 50-year directive issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The initiative will propel Dubai’s health care systems to be compared with international best systems around the globe.”
Over 50 doctors from public and private sector hospitals have been trained to offer online consultations during Phase i of the initiative. This move marks a new era in integrated health care delivery systems using smart digital technology such as telemedicine, electronic medical records and e- services such as e- prescriptions and home delivery pharmacy services.
“The telehealth consultation programme is currently available to UAE nationals. For patients registered with DHA, their complete electronic medical record will be available to the doctor at the time of consultation. The telehealth consultation is currently available with General Physicians (GPs) and specialists from family medicine.
In the first phase, it will include consultation for diabetes, allergies, hypertension and dermatological issues as these are the most common health concerns. In the future, services that are more specialised will be added.
A training centre has been set up at the Rashid Hospital Trauma Care Centre to specially train all participating doctors in the nuances of telemedicine. In the private sector, Al Zahra Hospital, Medcare and King’s College Hospital of London in Dubai have signed an MOU with DHA to provide trained doctors for the service.
The service will be extended to expatriates and more doctors will be available in Phase 2. The initiative will expand to include international doctors for consultation globally, said Dr Marwan Al Mulla, Director of DHA Regulations.
How the online consultation system works
• To book a consultation, a patient can either download the DHA app or call on the DHA toll free number 800 342.
• The doctor and patient will also have the option to communicate through a video call.
• The patient will be connected to the doctor he requires for his condition and in case of a DHA patient, the doctor will have access to the patient’s electronic medical records.
• The telehealth consultation will include initial diagnosis. In case of further investigations, the patient will be referred to specialised centres and post-consultation, doctors can provide an e-prescriptions for certain conditions. Medicines will be delivered at home through the Dawaee home pharmacy delivery initiative.
• If the patient requires further diagnostic investigation or pathology tests, he or she will be directed to a hospitals. The patient will then be registered online for the test through the electronic patient medical record system for added convenience. If a patient requires emergency services, he will be guided accordingly to call 999 as this telemedicine consultation does not include emergency services.