SHARJAH // Starting next month, clinics can renew their licences or register with the Ministry of Health online, a ministry director said.
The online service is expected to be launched next week at the Arab Health Conference in Dubai and to be available to the public from the middle of next month, Dr Amin al Amiri, the ministry's executive director for medical practices and licences, said yesterday at an open forum for Northern Emirates private practitioners.
"We are planning to make registration of a medical service easier," he said. "The time of running from emirate to emirate seeking to register for a new medical establishment license is now over." Details of the service would be made available at the official launch, he said.
The ministry also plans to set up 132 examination centres worldwide for medical practitioners applying to come to the UAE to work. The move would help to make assessment to the practitioners in their home country before they begin practicing in the Emirates
"Those who do not qualify our standards would be told long before they can come here," Dr al Amiri said. "This will solve the inconveniences of coming to the UAE with the uncertainties of passing or failing and returning home."
Dr Juma Bilal Fairouz of al Buhairah Medical Group in Sharjah raised concern at the forum that some insurance companies were refusing to pay patients' bills and others were not assessing them correctly.
Dr al Amiri said there had been concerns from some insurance companies of an arbitrary increase in the cost of medical services, mostly in Sharjah, but the dispute had been settled.
"We have made it mandatory for all insurance companies to hire a medical doctor to help in the assessment of insurance fees," he explained.
Doctors taking part in the event also complained of the ministry's restrictions on working in other hospitals. Dr al Amiri responded that they were working for a unified ministry examination system where doctors approved by the ministry would be eligible to work in any hospital in the country.
Doctors also asked the ministry to come up with a local accreditation system for private hospitals and a grading of hospitals so patients can choose one that best suits their needs