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UAE Govt approves federal decrees on regulations of healthcare professions

DUBAI, 8th August, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE Government approved a number of federal decrees and amendments of certain provisions on the regulations of healthcare professions, healthcare providers, and veterinary medicine.

This comes as part of regulating the practice of non-doctors and pharmacists in a number of healthcare professions, including nursing, laboratories, medical physics, functional therapy, physiotherapy, aesthetics, anesthesia, audiology, and radiology.
The amendments aim to aggravate penalties for healthcare workers who practice the profession without obtaining a license and those who do not meet the requirements.

Also, the law and the updates on the provisions set out a number of medical ethics and professional conducts for healthcare professionals practicing in the UAE, in addition to updating the disciplinary sanctions according to the violations committed with the continuity of the operation of private health facilities.

The amendments included establishing a national medical register for licensed healthcare professionals in the country.

As per the law, no one is allowed to practice a health profession unless they are authorized by the health authority in accordance with the provisions of this federal decree and its regulations and related decisions. Obtaining a license requires a bachelor’s degree or a health profession qualification recognized in the country. Health professionals must be of a good conduct, and should be medically fit to perform their duties.

The law also requires healthcare professionals to perform their duties with the precision and trust required by the profession, pursuant to the generally accepted scientific and technical standards, and in line with the dignity and honour of the profession.

The UAE Government approved the establishment of a national medical register for healthcare professionals at the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Health Authorities should create their own registers linked to the national register.

Also, the Ministry or the Federal or Local Health Authority will be receiving and deciding on applications for healthcare professions’ licences.

In accordance with the law, healthcare professionals are prohibited from selling or promoting medicines or samples to patients, or directing them to purchase medicines from a particular pharmacy.

The law also prohibits the submission of false documents or incorrect data to the health authority or employer, in addition to prohibiting the disclosure of the patient’s secrets.
Whoever practices the profession without holding a licence and without meeting the conditions that allow him to obtain the licence, or whoever submits incorrect documents or data or resorts to unlawful means that result in their wrongful licensing, will be punished by imprisonment and by a fine of not less than fifty thousand dirhams (AED 50,000) and not exceeding AED 100,000 (AED 100,000) or by either penalty.

In addition, the Health Authority may close the Health Facility by administrative decision if the violator operates it individually.
As per the law, should be punished by a fine of not less than ten thousand dirhams (AED 10,000) and not exceeding hundred thousand Dirhams (AED 100,000) any person who practices the profession without holding a licence but who meets the conditions that allow him to obtain the license. In any case, the Health Authority may close the health facility by administrative decision if the violator operates it individually.
The amendment to the law introduced new penalties for healthcare facilities committed for non-serious offences that do not require the temporary closure of the facility, or the suspension of its director, operator, administration or employee. Updated penalties and fines include a written warning, a fine of not less than one thousand dirhams (AED 1,000) and not exceeding five hundred thousand dirhams (AED 500,000), a temporary suspension of the License to practice the profession for a period not exceeding six months or the revocation of the License to practice the profession, in case the director or the manager of the health facility, the administration or personnel violates the provisions of the law, its executive regulations or decisions issued pursuant to it.
As per the law, a fine of not less than one thousand dirhams (AED 1,000) and not exceeding one million dirhams (AED 0ne million), or a temporary closure of the facility in whole or in part for a period not exceeding six months, or a final closure of the facility in whole or in part, should be the sanction imposed on the private health facility in case of committing a violation of the provisions of the law or its executive regulations or decisions issued pursuant to it.
In order to facilitate licensing procedures and providing functional competencies to veterinary facilities in the country, the law amendments include updating the duration of expertise required for the licensing of Emirati veterinarians and recent graduates to pursue the profession. Veterinarians and assisted medical professionals are exempt from certain fees.
Amendments to the law also include allowing foreign entrepreneurs and investors to establish and own veterinary facilities, in order to enhance foreign investments in the UAE veterinary sector.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has established a national register for veterinarians, veterinarian practitioners and assistants authorised to practise in the country.

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