Dubai is an extremely modern city that has a very high standard of healthcare. In fact, the public healthcare system is particularly advanced, even by Western standards, thanks to the Dubai Health Authority, which was created in 2007 to oversee the healthcare facilities of the United Arab Emirates.
Expats can take advantage of that healthcare service, even if they do not have medical insurance. This can be done by applying for a health card from the UAE’s Ministry of Health (MOH). This card will allow you to receive care at a public facility, and it might make you wonder if there is even any point in investing in your own private medical insurance.
So, why should you?
Firstly, though emergency care will be given regardless of your status as an expat, it is becoming increasingly hard to receive regular, non-vital care at public facilities if you are not a native of the Emirates. In fact, the UAE has been steadily making it compulsory for expats to purchase their own private health insurance. You might not be required to have your own right now, but the healthcare system is constantly evolving, so you might just find yourself required to have private insurance in the not too distant future.
Once you do have your own private insurance, you’ll be able to see world-class doctors without issue. Dubai is home to all kinds of medical professionals with a wide range of specialties, so any ongoing issues can be cared for by some of the best doctors on the planet. If you ever need the services of a specialist without proper international health insurance, you will find the prices high. Even the initial visit can command a lot, and that’s without any tests or examinations.
Finally, consider the fact that, as an expat, you will probably be in a much better position to pay for your own medical coverage than many UAE citizens, so it only makes sense for you to take on those costs yourself.
Receiving public healthcare in Dubai is possible, but it’s far from optimal. Instead, make sure you investigate private coverage options to find the best one to meet your needs.