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Department of Health Announces New Primary Care Family Medicine Model
27 December 2017

New patient-centric standard will improve patients’ access to quality and safe primary healthcare services
DoH looks to encourage an ongoing relationship between the patient and his/her family physician

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 27, 2017: As part of its role to provide the highest quality of healthcare services to the Abu Dhabi community, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), has announced new standards for Primary healthcare providers that will come into effect starting January 1, 2018, in a bid to improve patients’ access to quality family healthcare and encourage ongoing relationships with their family physician.

As per the new standard, DoH will no longer issue new licenses for general healthcare clinics in Abu Dhabi as of January 1 2018, with the exception of those located in construction sites, hotels, schools, sports and social clubs, and companies.

Mohammed Hamad Al Hameli, Acting Undersecretary at DoH said: “Our newly adopted Primary Care Standard is very patient-centric; it’s based on our commitment to continuously improve patient care, safety and satisfaction. It will enhance our community healthcare offering from several points of view: disease prevention, health maintenance, patient counselling, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. By implementing this family medicine model of care, we are ensuring that residents receive the highest quality of care, which in turn, allows us strengthen our goal of fostering a healthier Abu Dhabi.”

All licensed, specialised and medical healthcare facilities wishing to practice Family Medicine must first submit a ‘Change in Type’ application, subject to meeting the DoH’s Primary Care Standard. Through this application, the facility’s type will officially be changed to Primary Healthcare Centre.

Similarly, hospitals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi wishing to provide Primary Healthcare services must initially meet the DoH’s Primary Care standard, and submit a request to include this service on their Clinical Support Services List in the Department of Health’s Health Facility Licenses (HFL) system.

Family physicians deliver acute, chronic, and preventive care. Evidence shows that access to primary care helps people live longer, healthier lives. Countries with higher numbers of primary care providers see a reduction in death rates for cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and people are less likely to require hospitalisation. DoH has set December 2018 as a deadline for all general clinics that hold a permanent license, as well as those whose licensing is still under process, to adjust their status in line with the new regulations.


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