Dubai Healthcare City and VITA have come up with a unique elderly-care facility that will be operational in Dubai by 2024, offering state-of-the-art care to Emiratis, residents and medical tourists. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Dubai’s dedicated health-care free zone, and VITA, a UAE-based health-care investment company, have come up with a unique elderly-care facility that will be operational by 2024. The 250-bed health care facility, which will have day care and long-term care options, will have a mutli-facility complex including family medicine, geriatrics, neurology, orthopaedics care and will cater to the needs of elderly Emiratis, expatriates and medical tourists above the age of 65. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today to commence work on the prestigious, first-of-its-kind project in the entire Middle East.

Centre of Excellence for elderly care

Once completed, the VITA Elderly Care Complex will become the centre of excellence for geriatric care in Dubai and the UAE. Its services will include an Outpatient Geriatric Medical Centre, Advanced Nursing Home (Long-term Care), Alzheimer’s Centre, Elderly Day Care Centre, Rehabilitation Facility, Ventilated Care Centre, Home Care Centre and Home Health Monitoring.

Jamal Abdulsalam, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DCHA), the governing body of DHCC, said: “In line with Dubai’s vision to be the global hub for health care, offering the best services for all sectors of society, the signing of this agreement with VITA is a landmark moment for Dubai Healthcare City. We are pleased to unveil this mega project, a testament to our commitment and duty to meet demand for integrated, quality health-care services for the elderly — a key and growing demographic of the UAE society.”

The new geriatric centre will be a key component of Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2, a health and wellness destination located in Al Jaddaf Dubai, overlooking Dubai Creek.

Abdullah Al Gurg, VITA Chairman, said: “Specialised medical care and non-clinical services for the elderly are currently not available at optimum capacity in the UAE. Addressing the needs of an ageing population is both a moral imperative and an essential service in the continuum of care. As Dubai continues to provide leading health-care services to its population, we believe that there is a vital need for elderly care that must be addressed. This is ever more evident in a post-COVID world where the elderly have been one of the most impacted and vulnerable sections of society. Through the establishment of VITA Care, our aim is to place Dubai as a regional and global leader in this critical area of medical and pastoral care for the elderly.”

Speaking to Gulf News, Al Gurg assured that currently, VITA Care is in talks with Dubai Health Authority and other regulatory bodies and is working on an affordable care model for all.

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Affordable health-care model

The centre’s establishment comes at an inflection point in the local and regional health-care system. As medical improvements in society ensure that people live longer, the question of care extends beyond purely medical and shifts to quality of life and end-of-life care. With the UAE hosting one of the largest senior populations in the region and the second-highest in the Gulf Cooperation Council for life expectancy, the need for such facilities has become more compelling.