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HAAD and TCA Abu Dhabi sign agreement to establish medical tourism network in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, HAAD, the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, signed an agreement today to establish a medical tourism network for international patients travelling to Abu Dhabi for healthcare and treatment services. The agreement was signed during TCA Abu Dhabi and HAAD’s participation at the 2017 Arabian Travel Market, ATM, which kicked off on April 24th at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, and runs until April 27th.



Through this agreement, HAAD and TCA Abu Dhabi aim to develop an integrated and comprehensive network of best-in-class service providers for international patients seeking specialised medical treatment and expertise in Abu Dhabi. The network will also ensure that patients and their families are provided with holistic services while they are being treated in the emirate.



The entities registered under the medical tourism network will offer international patients a variety of complementary services that they may need throughout the duration of their stay. Example members include healthcare facilities, on-ground transportation agencies, airline travel and tourism companies, as well as retail outlets throughout the country. In addition, members could be a variety of organisations from other sectors in Abu Dhabi that would help the planned network achieve its goals. The network will be developed with integrated operational standards that work in tandem with the Ministry of Interior’s unified visa system.



The agreement was signed by Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Director of the Healthcare Quality Division at HAAD, and Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism Sector, on behalf of TCA Abu Dhabi, with the attendance of a number of other officials from both entities.



Dr. Al Mannaei said, "Through this agreement with TCA Abu Dhabi, and in collaboration with our prospective partners, we look forward to building a solid foundation from which to cultivate a fully-fledged system for the provision of healthcare services for international patients travelling to the emirate."



Those admitted into the planned network will be selected primarily based on their performance in the Abu Dhabi Quality Index Programme, JAWDA, launched by HAAD in 2014.



Dr. Al Mannaei elaborated, "Developing a robust network of healthcare service providers is now possible thanks to the high quality of healthcare services available in Abu Dhabi, which is being monitored through our JAWDA programme. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a remarkable improvement in healthcare service delivery provided to residents and citizens. Today, Abu Dhabi is considered a top destination for patients in search of world-class quality treatment."



The JAWDA Index Programme addresses four main areas: safety, effectiveness of care, timeliness of service delivery, and patient-centric delivery of care, based on a set of quality outcome indicators for each category. As part of the programme launch, HAAD mandated the creation of quality officers and leads in all hospitals, and the reporting of waiting times, in addition to ensuring consistent and valid reporting processes that include the submission of data through HAAD’s online portal, with all submissions signed by the facilities’ CEO and CMO.



TCA Abu Dhabi will facilitate the development of the integrated and comprehensive network by expanding opportunities and showcasing the investment and advances being made in healthcare in Abu Dhabi, ensuring that medical experts in Abu Dhabi, and across the UAE, are well informed of the opportunities and support networks available for their growing industry.



Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director, Tourism Sector, TCA Abu Dhabi, said, "This agreement will follow four principles that represent our strategic approach to encourage medical tourism to Abu Dhabi. These principles include raising awareness for the medical sector in Abu Dhabi, establishing a framework for our initiatives, promoting networking opportunities and developing new marketing ideas for the industry.



"In gathering leading representatives from all relevant industry sectors in Abu Dhabi, our vision is to create a forum for potential medical tourism packages, itineraries and timeframes."




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