To boost medical tourism in the United Arab Emirates, visa processing is to be made easier for patients wishing to get treatment there.
Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Health Regulation and Dubai Medical Tourism Project Director, commenting on this development, said that the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs had promised to make medical tourism visa procedures easier in order to support and boost Dubai’s medical tourism.
According to the DHA (Dubai Health Authority), about 1.3 million medical tourists will visit Dubai in 2021.
The year 2015 saw medical tourists numbering 630,831 visit Dubai’s 26 hospitals. Of these, 46 percent came from countries other than the UAE. By 2021, it is expected that 621,169 medical tourists will come from foreign countries.
As per a report published by the Dubai Statistics Center, 43 percent of the foreign medical tourists visiting Dubai came from Asian countries followed by 29 percent from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries in 2015.
The percentage of medical tourists from Europe, Africa and Americas were 15, seven and five, respectively. Most patients came to Dubai for treatment of fertility, plastic surgery, dermatology and osteoporosis.
A group by the name, the DHX (Dubai Health Experience), has been formed with 25 members offering medical amenities in Dubai along with other partners offering logistic services, for medical tourists.
Dubai has a sizeable population of Indian labourers working at various levels. Their families and dependents who live in India will benefit from this move as they can avail these facilities once they become operational.