Dubai Health Authority (DHA) started yesterday in collaboration with Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) working on a comprehensive field survey for various sick cases in Dubai that are treated outside United Arab Emirates from 2009 till 2012 whether at their own expense or Dubai government expense.
Laila Al Jassmi, the Chief Executive Officer of Health Policy and Strategy Sector at Dubai Health Authority, has stressed the importance of this survey, which aims at the identification of reasons why the patients have travelled abroad to receive medical care and obstacles that they faced and precluded them from seeking healthcare inside the country. It also identifies healthcare services preferred by the patients inside the country in terms of prices and medical services quality.
Moreover, it aims at the identification of the awareness and experiences of the patients or their families regarding treatment trip abroad as to services quality, treatment cost, satisfaction degree and medical errors.
She has also asserted that the importance of this survey is to provide a database contributes to set up policies and strategies related to treatment outside the country and promotes Dubai position as an ideal interface for treatment tourism. Al Jassmi has showed that this mutual work between DHA and Dubai Statistics Center is a form of the promotion and continuation of mutual work between them; it has become an example to be followed for collaboration between governmental institutions of Dubai Emirate.
Al Jassmi said that the results of this survey will help DHA to execute and accomplish goals and initiatives that the authority adopts as a part of health sector strategy. This strategy covers the promotion of the effectiveness of abroad treatment program for citizens through the development and use of standards based on evidences, besides taking the opinions of the experienced in this field. The purpose is to identify cases of priority for overseas treatment and cases sent overseas to encourage the local investments in the field of medical care services that are unavailable in the country and are mostly of high cost. The purpose also includes the adoption and execution of long-term strategies in order to decrease expenditure on abroad treatment to a level, which is sustainable and ensures that the citizen attains the service with the highest quality levels.
Dr. Amal Halyan, the senior research specialist, who supervises the execution of the survey, has said that the survey would include about 600 families: 80 per cent of which would be Emiratis mostly of about 90 per cent who have travelled abroad for medical treatment at the expense of the Dubai Government.
Meshal Al Hammadi, Household Surveys Section Manager at the DSC has also showed that a technical work team has been set up between both DHA and DSC to manage different phases of the survey. This technical team has trained and qualified fourteen surveyors, including six doctors who are fully aware of such health surveys. He has also asserted that it is for the first time the notion of the execution of the survey in all its phases will be implemented electronically; since data will be sent directly to the survey management office by using the updated available technologies regarding iPad devices.
Dealing with Confidentiality
DHA and DSC have asserted that all data to be obtained should be kept strictly confidential and should not be used except for statistical purposes only. They have also urged all survey individuals and families, UAE nationals and non-UAE nationals, to necessary cooperate with surveyors and facilitate their mission in order to complete all data accurately for the accomplishment of survey goals of which the positive output will be reflected on the emirate society.