Doctors in UAE welcome new medical visas for patients
Posted on: Mon 11-Aug-2014
Abu Dhabi: Doctors in the capital are optimistic about the new changes in visa rules that facilitate medical treatment in the UAE for those living abroad.
The new measures, which became effective on August 1, have been added to the existing types of visas.
They include a visa for people sharing a border with the UAE, such as those living in Buraimi and have business in Al Ain and people who have landed in the UAE in a state of urgency such as a flawed aircraft or medical emergency.
Additionally, visas will now be issued for people seeking medical treatment in the UAE.
“In this case, patients will have to apply for the visa through the hospital which will then become their sponsor. This is to ensure that the type of medical attention needed for the individual is available at the facility he or she is visiting,” said Brigadier Sultan Al Khadr, Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Interior.
Medical professionals welcomed these new initiatives and expressed optimism regarding the UAE’s future in medicine.
Medical tourism
A high-ranking managerial official at one of the capital’s major medical facilities who declined to be named told Gulf News: “Hospitals in the UAE are relatively newer and more modern than those in the West. Additionally, regulators here are very strict and are always ensuring a higher quality of medical care. So I can see the amount of medical tourism eventually rising as people take advantage of these new visa rules.”
As part of the measures that were issued by the Cabinet last month, people will have the option to apply for a visa for multiple trips or a trip of varying lengths (one month, three months etc).
The Cabinet has also set up a fund to deport individuals in violation of the visa rules. This fund will be financed using fines issued to those who fail to abide by the law.
However, many people wishing to visit their relatives in the capital say they have had their visas declined for no apparent reason.
“I applied for a visa for my 19 year-old brother to come attend my wedding and it was declined. I have tried everything — a tourism visa, a visit visa and all the types I knew about and they were all declined for no reason,” said an Egyptian member of the media.
In response officials said that all the rules, fees and information necessary regarding the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) have been published on the MoI’s website.(GN)



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