The Health Authority, Abu Dhabi Headquarters. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: More than 8,000 Emiratis across Abu Dhabi have chosen to seek medical treatment abroad since 2008 to date, with countries like Germany standing on the forefront of preference followed by the UK, US, Thailand, and Singapore.

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) findings show that the most common medical condition for choosing to travel abroad for Emiratis is a malignant tumour, followed by pediatric heart surgery, spine surgery, orthopedic surgery, rehabilitation therapy and heart diseases.

Internal medicines, general surgeries, eye diseases and bone marrow transplant are also common reasons for choosing to seek medical assistance abroad.

Despite HAAD being concerned about the rising number of patients seeking medical services outside the UAE, a medical board committee comprised of nine consultant physicians of multi-medical specialties, has been especially selected to determine cases to be treated abroad.

The committee, under HAAD's international patients care department (IPC), holds weekly meetings to consider medical reports brought to their attention.

AT A GLANCE

Number of Emirati patients sent for medical treatment abroad from 2008 to 2010

  • In 2008 — 2,643
  • In 2009 — 2,526
  • In 2010 — 2,858
  • In first quarter of 2011 — 724