Dubai, July 10: Expatriate physicians who work full-time at any Ministry of Health (MOH) government facility will no longer be allowed to work part-time in the private sector in Dubai beginning October 1, a senior Dubai Health Authority (DHA) official told Gulf News yesterday.
“The [affected people] are only the non-UAE physicians who are working full-time in MOH and part-time in the private sector in Dubai,” Dr. Ramadan Ebrahim, director of DHA Health Regulation Department, said.
A DHA circular released on July 4 said that all DHA part-time licenses for non-local physicians will be cancelled by October 1, 2012. Non-complying professionals and facilities will be penalised. The decision came following a directive from the MOH in April.
Dr. Ebrahim said around 300 physicians will be affected by the decision. However, if these doctors still want to practise in the private sector of Dubai, they have an option.
“We will automatically cancel their licenses by 1st of October, unless they resign [from MOH]. If they resign there, then we will continue their license,” Dr. Ibrahim said.
Dr. Ebrahim clarified that no other healthcare professionals will be affected by the decision.
Doctors in Dubai said they do not see any problem with the implementation of the new rule by October. Dr Sreekumar Sreedharan, an Indian specialist physician in Dubai, told Gulf News that this decision should not have any serious effect in the health sector.
“It should not be a problem at all for the health sector. If there is going to be an effect, it will be for the doctors who are in the public sector as they may lose some extra income and benefits. They usually work in the private sector outside their working hours, so this is not a very serious issue,” Dr. Sreedharan said.
“The idea of getting public sector doctors to work in the public sector alone is a good step because this will help curb any unethical practices that may happen from the practice. This is in fact being done in other countries as well,” Dr. Suresh Menon, medical director and chief internal medicine specialist at Lifeline Hospital, told Gulf News. “Practising in the two sectors gives you a dual mentality and will confuse your outlook because private and public practice are two different things. This DHA step is actually well-advised.”