UAE among top 20 medical tourism destinations

by Asma Ali Zain ,  Khaleej Times Online | 2010-07-31

DUBAI - The UAE is among the world’s top 20 destinations for medical tourism, according to a health tourism survey that has also revealed that the industry has yet to reach its full potential.


The survey done by a UAE-based health travel consultant has revealed that 94 per cent of medical tourism industry insiders believe their sector has yet to reach its full potential. The report shows that confusion, a lack of information and fear about complications following surgery are the main reasons for patient reluctance to cross international borders for health services. The findings are particularly significant for the region, as the UAE appears at number 11 for countries identified with medical tourism.

“The medical tourism industry is going through an exciting phase where international and intra-regional activities are taking place within this sector of the health market,” said Dr Prem Jagyasi, architect of the survey and an experienced consultant in the healthcare travel sector.

“The responses received clearly revealed that there is an overwhelming perception among industry leaders that there is so much more that can be achieved,” he added. The purpose of the health tourism survey, according to Dr Jagyasi, was to gain valuable insights into aspects of medical tourism from professionals who are closely involved with the industry.

Ninety-five per cent of the survey’s 500 participants identified themselves as being either directly or indirectly involved with healthcare travel in the scope of their work and the resulting information supplied by these insiders revealed many important facets concerning this specialised sector, including its terms, trends, status, opportunities and challenges.

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