Dubai hospitals given 6 months time to become disabled-friendly

Private healthcare facilities in Dubai have been given six months period, beginning this month, to alter their facilities and make them suitable for people with determination.

The facilities are required to change the building layout designs and alter them as per the Dubai Universal Design Code so as to give easy access to people with determination. This includes ramps for wheel chairs, toilet access, and access to transportation facilities among several others.

In a circular issued to private facilities last week, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) asked all facilities to comply or face disciplinary action. A senior official said that issuing and renewing licences for existing and new health facilities will be tied to these alterations.

Marwan Al Mulla, director of the regulations department, said the authority is coordinating with the parties concerned to ensure that the private healthcare facilities are meeting the needs and demands of the determined ones -both in existing health facilities and those under construction.

“The authority is going to tie the issuing and renewing of licences of private health facilities with meeting the requirements and criteria of disability-friendly facilities,” he said.

The changes are in line with the national policy for empowering people with special needs which was launched last April by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed announced that people belonging to this segment will no longer be called people with special needs, but rather “the determined ones”.

A period of six months (July 1 to December 31) will be granted for healthcare facilities to complete the necessary actions and submit the attachments and engineering layout to Health Regulation Department during this period, said the circular. Failure to comply with these procedures may result in disciplinary actions in accordance with the applied DHA rules and regulations, it added.


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