Patients coming to Dubai for major treatments

Dubai’s medical travel sector is bouncing back, with a recent resurgence in numbers of visitors seeking major medical treatment as restrictions on travel are gradually lifted. More international patients are coming from Africa, particularly from Nigeria, whose normal destination, India, is still tackling large numbers of COVID-19 cases.

With more countries unavailable to medical tourists, many are looking to Dubai for the treatment they require.

Given its ease of access, high quality healthcare and stringent COVID-19 measures (including the introduction of coronavirus-sniffing dogs at Dubai Airport), the emirate is an increasingly attractive destination for international patients from neighbouring countries. There is now an upturn in medical tourists from Africa, particularly from Nigeria, whose normal destination, India, is still tackling large numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Local hospitals are also reporting that medical tourists are not just travelling for minor procedures. They are travelling to be treated for breast cancer, orthopaedic and cardiology treatment.

In parallel with this rebound, UAE’s largest healthcare provider NMC Healthcare has now launched its CosmeSurge Hospital in Jumeirah. The facility specialises in providing cosmetic surgeries. Located near Burj Al Arab, the hospital is the 17th branch of the CosmeSurge brand.

The AED65 million (US$17.7m) hospital caters to the increasing demand for cosmetic surgery from residents and also targets medical tourists from across the region.

The facility has eight in-patient rooms, two of which are VIP suites. The specialist in-patient procedures provided include cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine including reconstructive surgery, cosmetic gynaecology, liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and nose reshaping. The hospital will also offer the latest in obesity treatment and management including weight loss surgery, nutritional management, and full body lift procedures.

NMC Healthcare is part of Abu Dhabi-based global healthcare group NMC Health, which is currently in administration following serious financial problems, and is being sold.

Last year, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) issued a mandate that all day surgical centres are required to obtain international accreditation from DHA approved accrediting agencies, which includes the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). One clinic has so far been accredited and others are in the pipeline.