The UAE has ranked first in seven global health indexes for 2019, a report compiled by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) found, state news agency WAM reported.
The country came first in the Low HIV Prevalence Index, the National Early Detection Programmes Index, the Low Rate of Health Problems Index, the Health Care Coverage Index, the Low Malaria Infection for Every 100,000 People Index, and the Prevalence of Stunting among Children under 5 Years of Age Index, WAM reported.
Healthcare is a top concern for government authorities in the UAE, with the Vision 2021 aiming to create a healthcare system of “the highest international standards,” according to WAM.
Vision 2021 is also aiming to reduce smoking rates and ready the country’s health care system of pandemics and other health risks – of particular concern given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The healthcare sector is the fastest growing in the country, with investments in the sector expected to grow over 300 percent over the course of the next 10 years, WAM said. Healthcare and community prevention currently accounts for around 8 percent of the government’s total federal budget in 2020.
Due to the emphasis that the country has placed on healthcare, levels of medical tourism have also increased, a term referring to when a person travels abroad to receive healthcare treatment. In 2018, the sector generated an income of 12.1 billion dirhams ($3.29 billion), a 5.5 percent increase of 2017, WAM reported.