The Investments and PPP department is one of the 15 strategic programmes of the DHA, with a focus on promoting and facilitating investment in healthcare.
The Dubai Health Authority oversees the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Dubai, which has witnessed significant growth in the past decade, said Dr AlBastaki, offering a snapshot of the key figures of the Emirate’s healthcare sector, which has witnessed increases in the number of hospitals, outpatient volumes, licensed professionals and inpatients. This is due in part to the 50-year charter, signed in 2019 by HH Shk Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, article five of which promised ‘A doctor to every citizen’. “We need to provide a health system, not a sick system,” said Dr AlBastaki. Within the last year, regulation of healthcare has changed to become unified, allowing for more cohesion within the sector, and now a patient can visit either Dubai Healthcare City or one of the mainland hospitals, and both are regulated by the same authority. The standard of care has been stabilised, and fees are related to standard of care, not services provided, with an outcome-based focus.
Investments in public/private partnerships related to healthcare is one of 15 strategic programmes the DHA has focused on in an effort to enhance the competitiveness of the health sector, increase awareness of the economic vitality of the sector to attract foreign direct investment, facilitate investments to address current gaps and future opportunities, and provide a sustainable public/private investment model to enable and facilitate future investment activity within Dubai’s health sector.
The need for investment in healthcare services is driven by demand, which in turn is driven by several key factors:
- Population growth
- A high prevalence of chronic diseases
- Mandatory health insurance
- Increasing utilisation of private healthcare
- A leading position as a health tourism hub.
Moving on, Dr AlBastaki identified projected capacity gaps in the local healthcare infrastructure, which include gaps in bed provision in obstetrics and orthopaedics, as well as an undersupply of acute inpatient beds across certain specialities and services.
The focus areas of health investments in Dubai in the future in the short and long term were then discussed, with Dr AlBastaki showing opportunities for investments in mental health provision, rehabilitation, long-term care, chronic disease management, diagnostic health and remote monitoring, digital solutions for primary care, and urgent care clinics. Finally, Dr AlBastaki addressed the local law and guidelines for public/private investments in Dubai, and gave examples of PPP projects that have already seen some success, including the award of a long-term care centre project, and a cardiology centre of excellence, which is an ongoing project yet to be awarded to a bidder. Ultimately, Dr AlBastaki’s presentation concluded that there are a great number of possibilities for foreign investment in Dubai’s healthcare system, including the redevelopment of the Rashid Hospital, and a central laboratory whose focus it would be to lead the region as a reference hub, attracting overseas lab investigations.