Expats in GCC bypass GPs and go straight to specialists

Published:  9 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: Dubai, UAE, Study Abroad
A recent survey has revealed a high number of expats working in the UAE don’t visit their local doctor but go directly to a specialist when they’re ill.

General practitioners across the UAE are being bypassed by expats working in the emirates, according to a YouGov survey undertaken on behalf of Arab Health 2018. Almost half of the total numbers surveyed said they preferred to go directly to a specialist rather than first checking in with a local GP. Interestingly, the study also demonstrated a clear distinction between GCC nationals’ healthcare habits and those from the region’s huge expat community.

A full 50 per cent of Emirati nationals said they always consulted their local general practitioner in the first instance, with just 33 per cent saying they always opt for consultation with a specialist when they fall ill. Respondents from the expat community who don’t use local GP services when sick totalled an average of 36 per cent, with just 28 per cent saying they head straight to the nearest hospital for a specialist consultation.

In general, the survey highlighted expats’ lack of awareness of the need to establish a good relationship with a GP in their area. Dubai-based consultant in family medicine Dr Rahul Goyal believes the size of the expat population is an impediment to establishing ongoing contact with a trusted local family doctor. Primary healthcare providers, he said, have a good knowledge of their patients’ medical history, and can refer them to specialists when necessary.

Dr Nahed Monsef, speaking on behalf of the Dubai Health Authority, agrees, saying family physicians are in the unique position of being able to provide ongoing medical care to expats and their families, including valuable health screening as well as counselling on changes in expats’ lifestyles.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive