Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health has announced new standards for primary healthcare providers in a bid to improve patients’ access to quality family healthcare.
Starting from January 1, 2018, the new standards will encourage ongoing relationships between patients and their family physician, with the DoH no longer issuing new licenses for general healthcare clinics in the emirate from the turn of the year, according to state news agency WAM. Exceptions will be made for clinics located in construction sites, hotels, schools, sports and social clubs, and companies.
Acting under-secretary of the DoH, Mohammed Hamad Al Hameli, said: “Our newly adopted Primary Care Standard is very patient-centric. It is 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.”
As part of the shift, the DoH requires all licensed, specialised and medical healthcare facilities aiming to practice family medicine to submit a ‘change in type’ application, subject to meeting the department’s Primary Care Standard. Successful applicants will have their facility’s ‘type’ officially changed to Primary Healthcare Centre.
Hospitals in Abu Dhabi wishing to provide primary healthcare services must also meet the DoH’s Primary Care Standard, and submit a request to include this service on their clinical support services list.