Dr Atul Aundhekar, CEO of UAE healthcare group Avivo is quoted in an article in ITIJ saying that outbound medical travel from the UAE is declining, as high-end medical services and world-class health solutions are increasingly available domestically.The article says that Avivo has a large presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and is one of the key partners of Dubai’s Health tourism Initiative, which aims to attract 500,000 medical travellers by 2021.
“Interestingly, now an increasing number of patients and wellness tourists from the GCC, Europe, Africa, Russia and China are visiting UAE, particularly Dubai, each year, making the sector grow steadily,” he said. He adds, “In terms of affordability, we are giving tough competition to the medical giants of Thailand, Hong Kong, India and China. Cost structure-wise, we are better than the US and European countries. Quality-wise, our services are no way inferior to any leading health organisation of the European states and much superior to our counterparts in East Asia.”
The article cites Dubai Health Authority data, which says that the Emirate alone attracted 337,011 medical travellers in 2018 for treatments in the leading specialities of orthopaedics, sports medicine, dermatology and skincare, dentistry and fertility treatments.