The UAE ranks highest among Arab countries in terms of life expectancy – 75-years a figure comparing favourably with that in advanced countries where life expectancy reached 79 years. The main reason for this high rates is the excellence of health services provided in the UAE, with the Ministry of Health managing a total of 30 hospitals, 115 primary healthcare centres and nine centres for preventive medicine throughout the country. The ministry is also planning to set up 17 new hospitals and primary health centres, which will start functioning by the year 2005.
Six more hospitals with a total bed capacity of 1,830 will be opened, including 800-bed general hospital and a 350-bed obstetrics and maternity hospital in Al Ain, a 200-bed general hospital in Umm al-Qaiwain, a 180-bed obstetrics and maternity hospital in Ras al-Khaimah, a 120-bed general hospital in Kalba and a 180-bed psychiatric hospital in Dubai. The Corniche Maternity Hospital will be provided with an additional 300 beds while three more primary healthcare centres will soon be opened in Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman and Dibba.
In 2002, the number of national graduates from the nursing schools was 155 with a considerable increase of 125 nurses compared to that of 30 nurses in 1989. The UAE Health Department has 12 reference and confirmatory laboratories for virus diagnostics along with three other laboratories, established to conduct ‘flow cytometry' techniques. The UAE is one of the 42 countries participating in WHO's external quality assessment scheme involving over 900 laboratories, said the report.
It disclosed that Dubai government will establish a US$1.8 billion Healthcare city in Dubai, which is considered as a global hub for patients from the entire region. The project includes a university medical complex, which will provide specialised medical education and research and be instrumental in attracting medical specialists and experts in the region. Shedding light on the participation of the private health sector, in improving health services, the report said at the end of 2000 there were 21 private hospitals with a total of 827 beds, 265 medical centres, 352 private clinics and 250 specialised clinic, served by 685 doctors. (The Khaleej Times)
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