Volume of Outbound UAE Patients Hinders Growth of Local Medical Travel Industry

Essential to retain UAE patients in order to further profitability of industry.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, August 06, 2015 –(PR.com)– UAE is increasing in popularity as a medical tourism destination owing to its location and high standards in healthcare. However, a large number of UAE nationals still travel out to countries such as the UK, USA, Thailand and Germany for medical services. Reducing this number to retain these patients within the country may be a challenge.

UAE has one of the highest concentration of plastic surgeons (1/18,000) in comparison to US (1/50,000) and Brazil (1/44,000). In 2012, Dubai alone had approximately 107,000 medical tourists visit the emirate for various treatments and procedures. This upholds the UAE’s rank as one of the top destinations for cosmetic surgery.

According to Mansoor Ahmed, Director, Colliers International, “The medical tourism business is highly profitable and UAE being a central location attracts a large volume of tourists annually. However, there is a high percentage of UAE nationals seeking medical care abroad it is essential to retain these patients in order to further profitability. ”

Mr Ahmed will discuss Collier’s International’s special report “establishing Dubai as a medical and wellness tourism hub” at the upcoming International Medical Travel Conference and Exhibition (IMTEC), organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, taking place at the Dubai International Convention Centre 7-8 October 2015.

“Despite UAE’s remarkable status as a medical travel destination, it is still in competition with other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and India. Medical services are said to cost 1/3 in these countries than they do in the UAE. Facilitation of services is required to shorten the processes in addition to growing the global insurance network which makes treatment in the UAE more attainable,” says Mr Ahmed.

The UAE healthcare system should focus on developing numerous centres of excellence in areas such as rehabilitation, cosmetology, neurology and cardiology which will help attract more medical tourists from the MENA region and other parts of the world. The price package and acceptance of global insurance networks should be an area of prime focus increasing the attractiveness and ease of medical travel for patients.
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