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Health Careborder

Standards of health care are considered to be generally high in the United Arab Emirates, resulting from increased government spending during strong economic years. According to the UAE government, total expenditures on health care from 1996 to 2003 were US$436 million. According to the World Health Organization, in 2004 total expenditures on health care constituted 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and the per capita expenditure for health care was US$497. Health care currently is free only for UAE citizens.

Cardiovascular disease is the principal cause of death in the UAE, constituting 28 percent of total deaths; other major causes are accidents and injuries, malignancies, and congenital anomalies.

The World Bank ranked Dubai and Abu Dhabi as being the 2nd and 3rd, respectively, most popular medical tourism destinations in the region, behind Jordan.

The UAE now has 40 public hospitals, compared with only seven in 1970. The Ministry of Health is undertaking a multi million-dollar program to expand health facilities and hospitals, medical center, and a trauma center in the seven emirates. A state-of-the-art general hospital has opened in Abu Dhabi with a projected bed capacity of 143, a trauma unit, and the first home health care program in the UAE. To attract wealthy UAE nationals and expatriates who traditionally have traveled abroad for serious medical care, Dubai is developing Dubai Healthcare City, a hospital free zone that will offer international-standard advanced private health care and provide an academic medical training center.