The launch event was attended by H.E Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health, H.E Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and H.E Engineer Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, H.E Mohamed Al Hameli, Undersecretary of Department of Health and H.E Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of Department of Culture and Tourism- Abu Dhabi and officials from government and private entities as well as CEO from number of healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi.
The e-portal provides a list of 40 healthcare facilities included in the medical tourism network, all of which adhere to the requirements of DOH’s quality framework (JAWDA) program, as well as more than 287 medical treatment packages from over 173 doctors across the Emirate. Through the e-portal, users can also access medical tourism insurance packages, the first of its kind in the region, along with a wide range of touristic services such direct contact with healthcare providers, visa issuance, as well as booking appointments, hotels, transportation and other recreational activities.
In his speech, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of DOH, stated that the development of the Medical Tourism E-Portal goes in line with the Department of Health's ongoing commitment to promote Abu Dhabi as a destination for medical tourism on a global scale.
HE Al Hamed said: “The Department of Health is utilising the quality indicators of the JAWDA program to determine the eligibility of healthcare facilities in joining the medical tourism network. By doing so, we can ensure that our healthcare network is capable of providing high quality services and unique medical offerings that distinguish it from other healthcare systems. These medical offerings would include advanced heart surgeries, organ transplants, infertility treatments, joint surgeries, medical check-ups and cosmetic surgeries.”
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The launch of the Medical Tourism portal is a testament to our efforts to position and promote Abu Dhabi to the global medical tourist. This launch will lay out our plans to identify medical tourism initiatives to benefit from the growth of the sector in the UAE capital. We offer not only state-of-the-art medical infrastructure, facilities and treatments and world-renowned doctors, but we also have the capability to offer a complete holistic environment to foster faster rejuvenation and recovery”.
“Medical tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of global tourism. Our key strategy, at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, is to attract more visitors, to stay longer and experience more across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and become a leader in the global medical tourism sector, and regional pioneer for this market”. Al Mubarak added.
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Director-General of the Foreigners Affairs and Ports Department of the ICA, said: “Today, we celebrate the collective efforts in placing Abu Dhabi on the global map of medical tourism. It gives us great pride to have developed the medical tourism visa system according to a dedicated framework developed in collaboration with DoH. These standards have been developed in accordance with the JAWDA framework, which guarantees international patients access to the best-in-class health facilities in Abu Dhabi. These health facilities are members of the medical tourism network, and as per the new framework, are the best equipped to obtain medical tourism visas on behalf of their patients.”
Commenting on the launch of the e-Portal and its medical tourism plans, National Health Insurance Company – Daman CEO Dr Michael Bitzer, said: “The introduction of Abu Dhabi Medical Tourism e-Portal is set to cement Abu Dhabi as a key medical tourism destination around the world. We are proud to be part of this initiative with innovative medical tourism insurance plans, and remain committed to playing a key role supporting the sustainable development and growth of the Emirate’s healthcare system.”
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer said to commitment on Etihad’s role at the Medical Tourism e-Portal: “As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad is proud to partner with the Department of Health and Department of Culture and Tourism in supporting the development of medical tourism in Abu Dhabi. Our specialised services, including our in-flight nurses, ensure that guests with pre-existing medical conditions receive a high standard of care during their journey to the capital.”
Abu Dhabi is growing its reputation as a premier destination for medical tourism through its advanced infrastructure, high quality of healthcare, and extensive tourism portfolio that enables the Emirate to deliver complete tourism experiences for its visitors.
The Department of Tourism and Culture has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Medical Tourism Association to host the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi, which brings together experts and organisations from more than 100 countries. The MoU includes the opening of a regional office in Abu Dhabi to promote medical tourism in the Emirate on a regional and global level, and to support in organising the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi.