Healthcare in Dubai – What You Should Know before You Arrive

You already know that Dubai is quite different from your home country. As an expatriate, you have to learn about the local specifics and modify your lifestyle to fit in the community. You have to arrange all aspects of your stay in the emirate from accommodation and transportation to personal finances. You should definitely learn all about healthcare in Dubai and your rights as a visa holder.

Before you get a Dubai resident visa, you will have to undergo a medical check. This is a routine procedure with standard tests such as the taking of a blood sample. The exam is performed so that the local authorities can be certain that you do not bring a contagious disease or a kind of a virus that is specific for your part of the world and can cause epidemic in Dubai.

Check whether you have all immunizations that are required by the health authorities in your state of residence. It is a good idea for you to have any necessary vaccinations before you leave home. Just like in any country, the risk of some contagious diseases in Dubai may be greater than in your own country. Expatriate workers coming to the emirate are usually advised to have a Hepatitis A, Typhoid and TB vaccinations just to be on the safe side. If you will live in a type of dormitory sharing facilities with other people, you are advised to have a meningitis immunization as well. There might be stricter vaccination requirements for hospital staff. Generally, it is a good idea to check the latest WHO recommendations for Dubai.

The majority of expatriate workers receive private health insurance from their employers as part of their employment package. You have to check explicitly with your employer that this is the case. Usually, the insurance plan covers almost all of your health costs including ones for medical checks. You have to make sure that the package you get is appropriate for your needs and health status.

In some cases, which are very rare, you might not get private health insurance. In addition, your spouse or children might not get this type of coverage if you are entitled to it. The good news is that all resident visa holders in Dubai are entitled to government health care. In order to get access to the services, the resident needs to obtain a health card. You can apply and get one in any public health center or hospital. The cost of the card is around 300 Dhs.

The primary care and the hospitals in Dubai are quite good. There are centers that work in particular with the expatriate community in the emirate. Emergency care is available to everyone irrespective of their health insurance status. Keep in mind that ambulance services are run by the local government. This means that in case of an accident the victims are taken to public hospitals. The dental care in Dubai is quite good, but it is quite costly as well. Pharmacies are abundant and well stocked.

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