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Agreement to facilitate medical tourism
By a staff reporter January 24, 2013
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DUBAI: In a move to streamline the medical tourism initiative for the Emirate of Dubai, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) have signed an agreement on Wednesday to facilitate and support medical tourism in the Emirate.

Major-General Mohammad Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA, said “We are keen to extend our cooperation in this regard and the two entities will work together to provide high quality services to support and facilitate the medical tourism initiative in Dubai.”

“The two entities have already extended their cooperation on a number of important medical issues such as overseas treatment and blood donation. The DHA blood donation site is located in the premises of the GDFRA and helps the authority collect additional units of blood,” he added.

Essa Al Maidoor, director -general of the DHA, said, “This agreement with help both parties work together to ensure we strengthen this initiative and provide utmost convenience to overseas patients who are keen to visit Dubai for medical purposes.”

“Unification of policies and processes will ensure smooth functioning of a dynamic health sector and will benefit both medical tourists as well as the healthcare providers. Working with relevant stakeholders is a key requirement to ensure strengthening and seamless functioning of the initiative,” he explained.

Dubai is the world’s leading destination for tourism and leisure and since it offers excellent healthcare facilities, medical tourism is an extension of the hospitality that Dubai is synonymous with.

Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of health policy and strategy at the DHA, said that cooperation in the field of medical tourism is essential. The agreement will streamline procedures aimed to be beneficial for both medical tourists and healthcare entities in the Emirate, in addition to discussing unification of medical tourism procedures.

“It will ensure that overseas patients are provided with convenience and ease from the time they apply for a visa to seek treatment in Dubai until they complete all medical procedures and return back to their home country,” she added.

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