Dubai Science Park convenes experts to discuss benefits of public, private healthcare systems

DUBAI, The Dubai Science Park, DSP, a science and healthcare-focused business community, brought together leading experts to discuss the merits and challenges of public and private healthcare systems with the aim of determining which model works best for patients, medical services providers and the economy.

The discussions were a part of the sixth edition of DSP's Advance Health Forum, a networking platform that brings key healthcare stakeholders in the UAE together to explore topics of concern to the industry.

The agenda featured talks by Mihtab Osman, Health Economist at the Dubai Health Authority, Margaret Faux, CEO of Synapse Medical Services, Kandarp Thakkar, Chief Pharmacist at King's College Hospital London, Joe Hawayek, Middle East Director at AETNA, and Stephan Stauffer, General Manager of Arabian Ethicals.

Healthcare is arguably one of the biggest industries globally, with expenditures expected to rise to US$10.059 trillion by 2022. The world's most developed countries have each taken a unique approach to healthcare that is specific to their needs, with some relying on governments as single payers, some turning to private insurers and others using a two-tier system.

These issues are especially relevant to the UAE, whose healthcare sector is poised to grow to AED103 billion by 2021. As per the Medical Tourism Index 2016, the latest edition of the biennial report available, Dubai was ranked 16th globally and first in the MENA region. In 2016, the emirate welcomed 325,000 medical tourists and plans to increase this number to 500,000 by 2020.

Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, said, "The past 10 years have seen a surge in the demand for healthcare services in the UAE, spurred by rising population growth, the government's efforts to create investor-friendly environments, such as specialised free zones, and the introduction of mandatory health insurance."

The country's healthcare system was ranked 10th in the world for efficiency in 2018, ahead of Norway, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.

DSP organised the event in partnership with Synapse Medical Services, a healthcare administration company, and Connect Communications, a strategic healthcare communications agency, under the theme "Health Systems: Who Pays for Health?".

Source: WAM - Emirates News Agency