Contrary to all the Dubai bashing you must have heard in the news or read in printed media, here’s a newsflash: Dubai does not totally suck.
I spent a brief hospitalization time at a local public hospital and I tell you, the amount of professional treatment and care I received from the staff there, nurses and doctors, were extraordinary even touching to say the least.
What makes it extraordinary? I, like ALL the expats living and working in the United Arab Emirates do NOT pay any tax to the government of our adoptive land. We receive our incomes in full without deductions of cash that would go to the big wigs up high to contruct roads or to build and maintain hospitals yet when needed, we get a decent, proper treatment.
I was admitted on Saturday night for complaints of severe abdominal pain and some bleeding. Al Wasl Hospital took me in, performed intensive checkup and tucked me in their care. The public hospital is very modern, clean and nice. I know, “nice” sounds like some place you’d really want to spend to relax and rewind and a hospital should not be it but it was really nice there. The nurses and doctors (at least the ones I’ve met who took care of me) were all accommodating and genuinely expressed care towards me.
The hospital food wasn’t bad at all, too. And for all those tests, doctor assessments, consultations and1 day hospital stay, I didn’t have to pay a thing*.
It is touching, especially for a non-tax payer (and from someone going through the pains of pregnancy loss) to receive kind treatment like this.
Information for Dubai residents: Public hospitals will ask for your health card upon registration or admission. Health cards can be done at Rashid Hospital (we had ours made there) for 330 dhs/year (US$90) for adults and 110 dhs/year (US$30) for minors 0-9 years old. However, having a health card is not compulsory. If you have private insurance that covers hospitalization and health care from private hospitals and clinics, you can opt out on the government health card.
Heads up to moms to be in Dubai or families with children – here’s a little about Al Wasl Hospital from their website:
Al Wasl Hospital is a renowned secondary and tertiary healthcare facility specialized in obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatric and pediatric surgery. Its mission is to offer quality diagnostic, curative and preventive healthcare services. Often viewed as the mother and child hospital, Al Wasl Hospital is the latest medical facility from Dubai Health Authority.
* Public hospitals like Al Wasl Hospital isn’t entirely free of charge. However, patients with urgent emergency and trauma cases usually receive free treatment or low cost treatment.