What are the regulations of healthcare professionals in the UAE?

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The United Arab Emirates is a confederation of seven emirates namely Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain and Ras al-Khaimah. At the federal level the Federal Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) is responsible for the implementation of the federal government policies in healthcare and works in close collaboration with all health authorities at both federal and emirate level. At the emirate level, the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have their own health authorities namely, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA, for Dubai), the Department of Health (DOH, for Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah Health Authority. The UAE ministry of health, is the federal authority responsible for licensing companies and medical service professionals or individuals involved in services in the healthcare industry, including the practices of nursing, dentistry, pharmaceutical, laboratories and medicine.

The national health strategy of the UAE is modelled on article 19 of the constitution of the UAE, which states that, ‘the community shall provide all the citizens with medical care and means of prevention and treatment from diseases and epidemics and shall promote the establishment of public and private hospitals, clinics, and treatment houses’. The national agenda keenly emphasis the importance of preventive medicines and also aims to reduce lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In furtherance to the said goals the UAE has introduced eleven pointers indices concerning healthcare.

The primary federal healthcare law applicable to all medical professionals is the Federal Law number 5 of 2019 ‘regulating the practice of the medical profession’. The said law applies to whoever practices or applies to practice medical profession inside the UAE, including in the free zones (Article 1); and it states that, ‘nobody may practice the Profession unless they are licensed to do so by the Health Authority’ (Article 4).

Conditions to be met by license applicant:

Article 5 of the law, states the condition that are to be met my a given medical practitioner in order to be licensed to practice in the UAE:

The License applicant shall meet the following conditions.

  1. He shall hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in human medicine, including dentistry, which is accredited in the State.
  2. He shall have completed his Internship.
  3. He shall be of good character and conduct, and shall have no judgment previously issued against him in a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, unless he has recovered his civil rights.
  4. He shall be medically fit to perform his duties.
  5. Any other conditions or controls prescribed by the Implementing Regulation of this Law.

The UAE keenly recognizes the importance and necessity for a strong healthcare system in the country, and remains committed to make the most of all advanced technologies and resources to create the world’s leading healthcare system. The UAE’s effective response in handling the covid-19 pandemic is a testament to its healthcare infrastructure and policies. The UAE currently leads the world nations in the number of Covid-19 vaccines administered. The public authorities in the UAE have taken proactive and adequate measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens, residents and visitors. In the coming years, the UAE’s healthcare system is geared towards further advancements including incorporation of artificial intelligence and digital medical services.

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