UAE and Medical Tourism

The UAE healthcare industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% during 2015-2020 and medical tourism is one of the key factors for driving this growth. The country is indeed becoming more and more of a hot spot for medical tourism. Currently over 100,000 people go to Dubai each year for health care, seeking this destination due to is high healthcare standards as well as its location. This industry is an attractive and lucrative market for all medical sectors in the UAE and it is estimated that medical tourism in Dubai is growing at 10-15% per year. A key area of interest is in plastic surgery and thus the country has done much to cater to those needs. For example, in the United States there is 1 plastic surgeon per 50,000 residents and in Brazil (a commonly referenced country for plastic surgery) there is 1 plastic surgeon per 44,000 residents. The UAE, however, has one of the highest concentrations of plastic surgeons . . . 1 per 18,000 residents.

The country is also pouring money into healthcare IT as it seeks to beef up infrastructure and improve upon healthcare services offered. The healthcare IT market in the UAE is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.12% during 2014-2019.

The UAE is well positioned for further advancement in the medical tourism industry because of its world-class doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities, impressive regional infrastructure and safety, and newly designed processes to make medical travel easier. Going forward, the UAE will undoubtedly focus on areas that are high drivers of medical tourism such as cardiology, cosmetology, neurology, and rehabilitation.

Furthermore, it is expected that the UAE will continue to work very hard on its efforts at medical tourism to compete with countries that offer healthcare services to medical tourists at very low costs; countries such as India, Malaysia, and Thailand. To this end, acceptance of global insurance networks will help to expand the reach of those who desire to be treated in the UAE.

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