Healthcare in Dubai



Healthcare in Dubai is known for its wide availability and world-class quality, characteristics that foreign assignees in the city are relieved to experience in their chosen destination.

The city's crude birth rate is 13.1 per 1,000 citizens, with the population increasing at a rate of 1.2 per 100 people. The comprise mortality rate is at 1.4 per 1,000 populations.

Common Illnesses

Topping the list for primary cause of death is circulatory and respiratory system diseases. Deaths related to circulatory system illnesses account for a huge 41% of non-communicable diseases related mortalities. However, a remarkable increase in traffic and work-related injuries had also been diagnosed, with 25,962 (which is about 21%) cases of inpatients in Dubai's public hospitals. Probably due to lifestyle changes or environmental factors, the city's cancer-related deaths are also gathering numbers. It accounts for 16.1% of deaths. The leading kind of cancer is malignant neoplasm found in the digestive system. 

The majority of diagnoses made for expatriates are through private sector health care providers. 90.78% of cases of non-communicable diseases among expats were consulted through non-DOHMS (Department of Health and Medical Service) hospitals or clinics.

The elderly population in the city is also increasing at 10.3% annually, one of the highest rates of growth in that sector in the world. This causes an increased pressure to improve the healthcare system in Dubai.

Expatriates compose the largest number of those diagnosed with infectious diseases, averaging 58.6% of cases. Two-thirds (or 64.9%) of the reported cases are chicken pox.

Public Healthcare

The city continues to expand its healthcare facilities by improving the public healthcare sector and empowering the private sector. Dubai currently has five government-managed hospitals, and 17 private hospitals are in operation. There are also 16 government healthcare and 639 private medical clinics.

Healthcare employees are also increasing in number. Dubai has 3,530 physicians, 4890 nurses, and 1370 dentists. 

Healthcare for Expats

Because of its huge expat population, more often than not, medical personnel are also internationally trained professionals. Medical facilities are also advanced and widely available in the city's hospitals and clinics.

Public healthcare is available for expatriates at a lower cost in public hospitals. The city of Dubai does not have any obligatory state or employer - contribution healthcare premiums.

Expats can use emergency healthcare and public health facilities, but availing yourself of international healthcare insurance would be best if you want more comprehensive medical coverage.

Although government hospitals also offer quality healthcare and great facilities, privately-run hospitals prove to be preferred by most expatriates and their employers.

These hospitals offer single room accommodations, and prices depend on the kind of facilities you sign up for. Bigger and more luxurious hospitals like The American Hospital are more expensive. 

Emergency healthcare is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at public hospitals in Dubai. Ambulance services can also be called upon, however not with the same efficiency as you'd experience in Western or European countries.

You may dial 999 to call an ambulance or for most emergency situations.

Doctor's appointments in public health clinics are normally made at least 24 to 72 hours before the desired date either by phone or in person. However, depending on the purpose of the visit (like an emergency or critical situation), a same-day appointment can be arranged.

Dubai has 264 pharmacies, where a variety of medicines is available over the counter. Note however that the Ministry of Health has banned the use of tranquillisers, anti-depressants, and even sleeping pills, and these are only available to those with a prescription from a local doctor and a letter explaining the need for such.

Most pharmacies are open Saturdays to Thursdays from 9:30 am to 1 pm and from 4:30 to 8:30 pm or later while those in hospitals are open 24 hours.