Healthcare and medical care
The United Arab Emirates have a state-funded public healthcare system as well as a growing private healthcare sector. Healthcare and medical services are widely available, including in English. This also applies to dental care. There are several high-quality hospitals in the country. In other respects, however, the quality of services varies. Some tourist hotels may also provide medical services.
A list of public and private healthcare facilities in the United Arab Emirates is available on the British Embassy website. Good private hospitals include Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Harley Street Medical Centre, Burjeel and Mediclinic (Al Noor office in Abu Dhabi and Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai).
The costs of healthcare and medical services are high, and comprehensive insurance is, as a rule, essential for receiving treatment. When travelling to the United Arab Emirates, comprehensive travel insurance is therefore necessary, and travel insurance should also cover a possible ambulance flight. In case of illness, contact your insurance company, which will advise you in more detail about the procedures and any hospitals that have direct debit with your insurance company.
Repatriation of a sick or deceased person is expensive and difficult to arrange without comprehensive travel insurance, and treatment is not always available abroad without a payment commitment or advance payment. Always take your travel insurance document, for example a travel insurance card, and passport with you when using healthcare services. As a rule, the costs can be paid either in cash or with an international credit card. You can seek reimbursement from your insurance company afterwards on submission of receipts.
If you are health insured in Finland, and have received treatment in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. You are entitled for the same reimbursement that you would have received if you had been treated in the private healthcare system in Finland. Please note that the reimbursement usually covers only a small part of the costs of the treatment. Thus, taking out a comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
Medicines are widely available, and the network of pharmacies is extensive. Some pharmacies are open 24 hours a day. Some medicines manufactured abroad may be more expensive than in Finland, and not all the same medicines are available.
Prescription medicines and other medicines imported by tourists are restricted by the health authorities of the United Arab Emirates. Information on importing them can be obtained from the country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention and the country’s government portal.
Counterfeit medicines may occur, although this is rare.