DESTINATION HEALTH mission to Dubai and Abu Dhabi: a success which has opened possibilities for Italian healthcare in the Emirates.

For the first time, a delegation of Italian hospitals had the chance to meet and introduce itself to local Ministries, Authorities and healthcare providers. The three-day missions resulted in a great success and laid the foundations for interesting business opportunities for all participants.

The delegation, organized by Destination Health (former business name of Acesis advisory brand) and under the patronage of AIOP, the Association of Italian Private Hospitals, and Assolombarda, the entrepreneur association of Lombardy region, part of national Confindustria, included: Fondazione MondinoGruppo CIDIMUGruppo Ospedaliero San Donato and IEO – Istituto Europeo di Oncologia. The mission was organized in partnership with Acesis business partner  in the region.

Italian Hospital Delegation meets Health Authority Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - UAE

On day one, the delegation met with the International Patient care Division of HAAD (Health Authority Abu Dhabi). TheDirector, her deputy and two doctors responsible for the evaluation of healthcare providers showed great interest in oncology, endocrinology, genetics, neurology, transplant and rehabilitation therapies and in their pricing, where Italy can be very competitive with USA and Germany, countries where HAAD is presently sending patients from the area.

Second meeting was with the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of VPS Healthcare, the biggest provider in the Emirates, with 20 hospitals, over 125 medical centres, 10.000 employees and medical support services spread across the Middle East, Europe and India. It was a great occasion for a first-hand overview of the public and private healthcare system in UAE and an exchange of views on the need of strengthening medical research in the Emirates and in developing new cooperations with Italian Hospitals.

On November 27 the delegation met the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in charge of all the 7 Emirates of UAE. The director of the department and physicians responsible for the evaluation of hospitals seemed very interested in meeting Italian hospitals, an area yet to be considered by them. This meeting, too, was lively with questions and answers going beyond the plain presentation of services.

Following, the meeting with the Saudi German Hospital, one of the most important centres in the Emirates and the Middle East, was very promising, too. Italian hospitals met the General Manager and the Marketing Manager who explained how their hospital carries out its captive strategies to attract international patients.  They also explained how the visiting professor program works and how they promote the cooperation with international doctors and providers.

Italian Hospital Delegation meets Ministry of Health and Prevention - United Arab Emirates - UAE
Italian Hospital Delegation meets Ambassador Liborio Stellino in Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - UAE

The day ended with an encounter with the Italian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Liborio Stellino, who gave the participants a very interesting overview of the Emirates geopolitical situation and of the evolution of its Healthcare system with the opportunities for providers.

The last day of the Italian mission started with a visit to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in the presence of its Director and four doctors who expressed the appreciation for Italian doctors and medical competence and were happy to finally be able to meet with a group of Italian hospitals to evaluate possibilities of cooperation.

Italian Hospital Delegation meets Dubai Health Authority - United Arab Emirates - UAE

The last part of the mission was the meeting with the Italian Consul in Dubai, Valentina Setta who told the delegation that the interest towards Italy has been growing more and more in the past year, and in particular after EXPO and the number of people who want to combine tourism with a medical check-up in Italy is raising, too.

Destination Health believe that this has been a very important step for Italian Hospitals and, in a broader view, for Italy as a destination for medical tourism, proving that the network approach launched with this delegation can be an appropriate strategy, as testified also by the Italian Ambassador.

UAE Health Authorities and Healthcare providers had the chance to discover the level of excellence of Italy offer and our potential as a destination. Now it’s time to put these efforts into practice and to start turning this interest into cooperation opportunities.

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