What were the most important accomplishments for Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) in 2014?
DHCC has been driving the concept of a medical city since its foundation in 2002. Sustainability has been at the forefront of our operations, demonstrated by efforts to build medical capacity in the UAE and the region. Our progress year on year echoes this approach. In 2014, we signed several agreements concerning medical education. Our UAE-based partners include Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the University of Dubai, and Dubai Medical College, and our global partners include City University London, Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Dräger, and Cambridge University Hospitals. We welcomed 20 new businesses to DHCC in 1Q2014 and 2Q2014 with Cochlear Middle East, Doris Duan-Young Autism Centre, and Amsa Renal Care being leading clinical partners. This year also marked our inaugural UAE Clinical Simulation Conference.
How is DHCC tackling the challenge of attracting and retaining highly specialized medical personnel?
We continue to draw heavily on our track record in regulation. The Centre for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ), an independent regulatory body overseen by the Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), ensures strong and transparent governance within the DHCC free zone. CPQ is responsible for the regulation and licensing of all healthcare facilities and practitioners within the DHCC. ISQua, a global leader in assessing the standards in healthcare safety and quality, awarded CPQ the second edition of the Outpatient Clinic Quality Standards accreditation, valid from May 2013 to April 2017. The outcome of this strong regulatory environment is 4,000 medical professionals to date who have access to continuing professional development programs at DHCC. We will announce shortly an updated licensing framework to continue to attract global expertise in healthcare as well as in wellbeing services to support DHCC's Phase II expansion, which is dedicated to wellness. We will also announce details on our upcoming teaching hospital project. I cite an article titled “The Emigration of Minds" written by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai: the UAE has joined other emerging economies as a leading destination to attract global talent. Its number one position in attracting human capital knowledge and minds can be used as a model by other countries in the region or around the world. We humbly hope that the DHCC exemplifies this ideology.
In your opinion, what steps can be taken to further position Dubai as a preferred medical destination internationally?
I take the liberty to use DHCC as an exemplar of medical tourism. Through our operations in healthcare within a robust regulatory framework, a million patients have visited DHCC as of 2013, and an estimated 15% of current patients are medical tourists. Ongoing collaborations with government entities have pushed medical tourism in the Emirate. Medical tourism facilitators too have a role, as evident in the DHCC. In 2014, we signed an agreement with the international non-profit Medical Tourism Association to roll out certification, training, and accreditation programs.
DHCC is home to the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center (KHMSC), a comprehensive training facility in the region. In this context, how is DHCC's performance in medical education?
The KHMSC is a significant medical education offering of DHCC's Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center (MBR-AMC). Spread over 30,000 square feet, the KHMSC provides medical professionals with hands-on clinical simulation training. Since opening in November 2012, it has trained approximately 1,400 medical professionals. The Center has grown in recognition through the 1st UAE Clinical Simulation Conference, which had approximately 200 healthcare professionals, students, and delegates in attendance.