CUD Convenes Debate on Medical Tourism

April 17th, 2017: The School of Public Health and Health Sciences at Canadian University Dubai (CUD) has brought together leading experts from Dubai’s healthcare sector to provide their professional insights into the development of the City’s medical tourism industry 

Hosted by students Elizabeth Topolskaya and Abdulrahman Mohamed, the debate set out to explore the opportunities and challenges of Dubai’s growing medical tourism sector, as well as reflecting on progress towards the target to attract 1.3 million medical tourists by 2021. 

Representing a cross-section of the industry, panel member included Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi Director of Healthcare Regulation at Dubai Health Authority; Mr. Malek El Husseini, Healthcare Operating Partner at Qatar First Bank; Dr. Naseem Mohammed Rafee, Head of Consumer Products Safety Section at Dubai Municipality; and Mr. Tanweer Alam, Deputy Manager of Marketing at Prime Healthcare. 

Discussing the process of developing the Dubai health tourism brand, Dr. Al Marzouqi spoke about the unique features that make the City a destination of choice among patients looking to travel overseas for medical care. “Our niche lies in the patient bill of rights, the medical tourism visa and insurance systems we have established, as well as our partnerships with the airline and hotels in the City, all of which come together to provide what we call the Dubai healthcare experience” said Dr. Al Marzouqi.   

Going on to discuss the comprehensive portfolio of specializations that are being developed in the City’s healthcare sector, Mr. El Husseini revealed how the quality of care and the technology that is available to patients has helped to put Dubai on the global medical tourism map. He also pointed to some of the challenges of globalization in healthcare, including price sensitivities. 

Taking to the floor next, Dr. Rafee provided her insights into the infrastructure challenges presented by medical tourism and the role of Dubai Municipality in supporting the sector’s growth. Mr. Alam concluded the debate with a detailed overview of the patient experience, focusing on the design of healthcare facilities to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment. 

Following the debate, the panel took part in an audience Q&A session, with discussion topics ranging from the role of higher education in supporting the development of the sector, to the risks and realities of providing cross-border  patient care. The event concluded with an overview of the programs that CUD offers in School of Public Health and Health Sciences, provided by Assistant Professor and Chair, Dr. Yassen Al Foteih.