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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Private hospitals must improve disabled access within six months

The notice is the latest government move to improve access across the city ahead of the Expo 2020.

The dream of a city with access for all has moved closer to reality with public hospitals the latest buildings to be given an ultimatum to improve their disabled access under the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020 (DDS).

All private healthcare facilities in the emirate have been given six months to alter their facilities to become disabled friendly.

The notice is the latest government move to improve access across the city ahead of Expo 2020.

The DHA has established five teams, tasked with implementing strategy objectives for the "determined ones", under the guidance of director general Humaid Al Qutami.

“The comprehensive developmental work the authority is witnessing in its services and facilities aim in the first place to meet the current needs and demands of the determined ones — that include an early intervention screening programme, rehabilitation and the provision of quality health services,” he said.

“The authority is focusing on providing smart services that meet the needs of the determined ones.”

The teams will focus on improving early developmental screening, diagnosis and early interventions, health benefits and funding, inclusive health policy for the disabled, rehabilitation and mental health.

The DHA also aims to integrate the programme with all nurseries and paediatric clinics, both in the private and public sector.

A registry of disabled people will also be set up and there will be a comprehensive classification system for diagnosing patients as well as communicating with decision makers to issue regulations and policies that will ensure the implementation of the programme, the DHA said.

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of primary health care, is leading the health and rehabilitation task force within the DHA.

“The authority aims to insure that quality diagnosis and prevention services are available in health centers and clinics and develop models for early intervention that also take into consideration psychological factors.”

Previously, making buildings accessible to all was a matter of best practice but, from February, it has been a legal requirement.

All building owners will be given a three-year period in which they will need to produce an accessibility plan, with new buildings required to include adequate disabled access.

Earlier this year, 45 engineers from various building development backgrounds met for a workshop under the Accessible Environment for Persons with Disabilities Project, organised by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.

Dubai aims to be disabled friendly in all its buildings by 2020.