The UAE Cabinet has approved an initiative to establish a nationwide database of patients’ medical records to improve healthcare services in the country, official news agency WAM reported.
The move aims to facilitate the easy movement of patients among healthcare providers and connect public hospitals and clinics. It will also eliminate duplication and reduce registration times, medication errors and the length of hospital stays, the report said.
It will be implemented in the next four years.
The initiative is one of the outcomes of the Cabinet’s Government Innovation Lab, chaired last year by VP, PM and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “Providing healthcare services in the UAE is a joint work among federal, local governments and private sector. Improving the healthcare services will never stop.
“Building a high-quality healthcare system and providing the best services to patients requires streamlining efforts in this sector. We have announced a unified national medical record to facilitate the healthcare services and provide up-to-date medical data.
“We want healthcare services to reach patients no matter where they are in the country, to realise high quality standard of living to our people and ensure their health requirements are met.”
The Cabinet also approved another initiative on a mobile healthcare programme to provide services in remote areas, especially for senior citizens.
The programme will focus on home-care services and outpatient specialty clinics, the report said.
The UAE’ s healthcare industry is booming, in line with the country’s growing population, and according to a report by research firm Colliers International, the country will need an additional 5,188 beds by 2020.
Dubai specifically has also been overhauling its healthcare facilities to redirect the outflow of residents seeking medical treatment and capture part of the medical tourism market travelling to Asia, as part of plans to become a major medical tourism hub.
Last year, the emirate set an ambitious target to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2020.