His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted Law No. 6 of 2018 on Dubai Health Authority (DHA), with the objectives of regulating the health sector in the Emirate, ensuring increased competitiveness, operational efficiency, transparency, quality of services and products in accordance with the applicable policies and the highest standards applied at an international level, and upgrading the services and products for health, treatment, prevention and medicines in Dubai according to the approved strategic plans and international best practices.
This law is an extension of the UAE’s vision that places human health as a top priority and aims to provide the highest levels of health and medical services to the community, ensuring all residents will enjoy access to premium healthcare.
The Law establishes a new phase in solidifying Dubai’s position as the preferred destination for healthcare services across the MENA region, attracting the largest and most important international medical institutions with the best specialized competencies and supporting smart technologies.
Under this Law, the DHA will work to provide health insurance programs to citizens, residents and visitors, to strengthen Dubai's position as a global medical hub and as a premier destination for medical tourism, medical education, professional development and specialized research. In addition to promoting and supporting innovation in all areas of healthcare and promoting safety and protection from disease and health risks.
DHA’s Specialties and Responsibilities
The Law defines the functions and responsibilities of the DHA, including: preparing comprehensive strategic plans related to the health sector in Dubai and supervising their implementation; conducting studies and research related to the Emirate's need for health and medical services and working to harmonize investment projects in the health sector. This includes all components of the health system aimed at protecting public health and providing health care, with the results of these studies and research. Furthermore, under the old law (Law No. (13) of 2007 establishing the Dubai Health Authority), DHA was responsible for authorizing and licensing individuals as well as governmental and private entities to engage in the medical profession in the mainland only. However, under the newly issued Law the scope of DHA’s competency shall be expanded to include licensing individuals and establishments operating in special development zones and free zones, except for those operating under the Dubai Healthcare City Authority. Under the old law, DHA’s responsibility regarding free zones was limited to the general supervision of all health services providers operating in which.
The DHA will also be responsible for the inspection of health facilities and the professionals working within them, this extends to facilities operating in special development areas and free zones, such as DIFC. The Authority will administer the provision of medical education services; conduct medical research and experiments in coordination with the competent authorities; prepare and develop policies and regulations related to the health sector. These include: health insurance systems, public health and preventive medicine services. DHA will also develop and set the requirements for both practicing individuals and establishments, and investing in the health sector.
The Law authorizes the DHA to regulate and approve the prices of health services provided by private health facilities in the Emirate and to issue decisions related to the pricing of health services provided by the Authority and its affiliated institutions in coordination with the Department of Finance. And to ensure the provision of appropriate health services to various segments of society at affordable prices; through the establishment, management and operation of an integrated health information system in accordance with international health and medical standards, in cooperation with the private sector.
In accordance with the Law, the Authority shall propose draft legislation governing the health sector, as well as submitting recommendations for updating and developing it to the competent authorities, and providing medical and occupational health examination services in the Emirate and its free zones.
The Authority and its affiliated institutions may, in accordance with their approved regulations, authorize third parties to provide some administrative services related to medical fitness and occupational health.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Law, the Authority shall regulate and manage health tourism in the Emirate, in coordination with the concerned authorities, as well as handling the preparation, management, development and implementation of policies related to health insurance, and the supervision and inspection of establishments engaged in any activities related to health insurance in the Emirate. It will also be undertaking the inspection and approval of the content of health advertisement in the media in the Emirate, in addition to the owning and rental of movable and immovable property, materials, devices, equipment and systems required to enable the Authority and its affiliated institutions from exercising their functions and powers entrusted to them under this Law and other legislation in force in Dubai.
The provisions of this Law shall not prejudice the functions and competencies of the Dubai Healthcare City Authority under Law No. (9) of 2011 concerning Dubai Healthcare City and the applicable legislation in Dubai. The DHA shall have a President and a Director General appointed by a decree issued by His Highness the Ruler of Dubai. The Authority shall have within its organizational structure a group of its affiliated institutions for the provision of health services and the regulation of the health sector. The Ruler of Dubai shall issue a decree establishing and determining their specialty. Each institution shall have an Executive Director appointed by a decision issued by the President of the Executive Council of the Emirate.
The Law replaces Law No. (13) of 2007 establishing the Dubai Health Authority and its amendments. Any provision in any other legislation shall be repealed to the extent that it contradicts the provisions of this Law, provided that the provisions of resolutions and regulations issued pursuant to Law No. (13) of 2007 shall remain in effect to the extent not contradicting with the provisions of this law; until the issuance of the resolutions and regulations that replace them. The law shall come into effect from the date of its issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette.