x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Healthcare inventory to help shape Dubai's plans

The study by the Dubai Health Authority is 'to find gaps in the system'.

DUBAI // An extensive inventory of the healthcare system this year will provide information to help shape the emirate's plans for the next decade, authorities say.

The study by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is to find gaps in the system, said Dr Meenu Sodhi, a policy and strategy specialist.

There might not seem to be a shortage of beds or staff, but the study will break down the figures and data, Dr Sodhi said yesterday, on the sidelines of a DHA conference to discuss its plans.

"It will show how many nurses, paramedics and physicians there are," she said.

The study will also reveal any bed shortages for wards dealing with specific diseases.

Dr Awatif Abu Haliga, the acting director of the DHA's policy and strategy department, said it was almost certain the emirate would need more hospital beds.

"With the introduction of the mandatory health-insurance scheme, there should be a rise in the demand for services, which will lead to more beds being required," Dr Abu Haliga said.

Originally to be rolled out in 2009, the insurance plan has now been given a deadline of next year.

Dr Abu Haliga said Dubai residents visit primary physicians on average once a year. That number is expected to triple once mandatory insurance is introduced.

Other upgrades to health care are to include electronic health claims and an electronic medical record system.

zalhassani@thenational.ae