Since its formation in 1971 the Arab Emirate of Dubai has seen a rapid progression in its healthcare sector. From an initial number of five hospitals, it evolved to a total of twenty hospitals and very recently launched the, world’s first integrated healthcare free zone, the Dubai Healthcare city. The Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS), provides free or very low cost medical services and hires the best medical practitioners both local and foreign to ensure the UAE residents receive the best healthcare. One of the leading contributions to the success of the healthcare sector is Zulekha Healthcare group, which began as a small project with a thirty bed hospital in 1971, and today has evolved into a professionally managed multi-specialty facility offering modern medical solutions. The Zulekha group currently includes two hospitals, in Dubai and Sharjah, four medical centres and three pharmacies. Their vision is “To be the most efficient, competent and courteous providers of comprehensive healthcare in the world.” They have stayed true to their vision and have worked consistently to provide and promote top class health care in the UAE.
“A firm’s understanding of the external environment is matched with knowledge about its internal environment, to form its vision, develop its mission and to identify and implement actions that result in strategic competitiveness and above average returns” (Hitt.Ireland.Hoskisson 2009). In order to study what external factors affect Zulekha, a PESTLE analysis has been carried out. In order to analyze the environment Zulekha operates in the following factors will be considered; Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental. POLITICAL/LEGAL FACTORS
Promotion of Private Sector healthcare system by the government The government plays a central role in providing healthcare services and accounted for 70% of the total healthcare spending in 2007. Due to increased pressure on the public healthcare system, the government is rapidly promoting the involvement of private sector in all areas of medical services ranging from diagnosis to treatment. Under such scenario of outstanding expansion opportunities, the private sector has seen a considerable degree of progression and is predicted to flourish a great deal in the coming years as well. The demand for hospitals and hospital beds is predicted to rise over the next few years since the existing infrastructure is inadequate to deal with rising number of health complications. This supports Zulekha group’s strategy as it has expanded over a couple of emirates and is determined to do so in the future. Healthcare Regulations and Policies:
In order for Zulekha to operate it needs to comply with certain standards. All UAE hospitals are required to meet increasingly stringent quality regulations. These standards are set UAE-wide and within individual emirates, the strictest being Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Many of these regulations relate to the quality of clinical staff. The regulation requires the nurses to have two years of professional experience before they can be licensed in the emirate. Physicians must practice five years past certification and undergo a peer-led interview process. These extra barriers are meant to weed out fraudulent clinicians, which traditionally have been a known problem for many developing nations. Health Insurance provision by employers made mandatory in some emirates: Healthcare utilization has increased at a double digit rate as it was made mandatory by the government in certain states for example, Abu Dhabi and partly Dubai made it compulsory that employers provide health insurance. That effort, combined with the state-provided coverage, has led to a swelling of emergency room patients for Zulekha Hospital Dubai, Oasis and many other hospitals operating in private sector. "That has increased the utilization of healthcare dramatically," says American...