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Dubai Health Authority

Dubai Healthcare City introduces online licensing exams

Media release.
Published: 01-Dec-2014 11:15 am
Publisher: Dubai Health Authority

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) today announced online examinations for physicians and dentists from more than 30 countries representing Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the MENA region and the Indian subcontinent.

The introduction of online licensing exams is part of a phased plan to strengthen DHCC’s regulatory standards in line with the agreement signed by UAE health authorities for the unification of medical licensing, and in line with Dubai Smart Government initiative.

The country list now has India, Egypt and Pakistan, among other countries. The online exams will help increase the pool of healthcare professionals and operators, boosting the emirate’s economy and promoting specialization.

DHCC, a health and wellness destination that brings together a wealth of services in healthcare, medical education and research, has partnered with renowned testing provider Prometric to ensure that the online licensing exam follows stringent check-in procedures that require biometric (fingerprint) capture. The provider operates a network of secure test centers in more than 160 countries.

Regulation and licensure of DHCC-based healthcare professionals and healthcare operators is handled by the Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ), an independent regulator overseen by Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the governing body and regulator of Dubai Healthcare City.

The online DHCA exam is a non-eligibility exam administered by Prometric; once a candidate passes the exam, he or she can apply for licensure through CPQ provided all other eligibility requirements are met for that specific professional category. These eligibility requirements include education, training, licensure and work experience.

The licensing framework takes into account the growing demand for certain specialties. The new country list is based on parameters of healthcare systems, specialization, evidence-based practice and standards of medical education.

Currently 11 exams are available for physicians and dentists: gastroenterology; general dentistry; general medicine; general surgery; internal medicine; obstetrics and gynecology; orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics; orthopedic surgery; pediatrics; periodontics; and prosthodontics.

Additional licensing exams will be introduced in phases over 2014-2015.

Candidates can visit the Prometric website ( to register and schedule a DHCA exam. Exam passage is one of the minimum requirements for licensure.

Marwan Abedin, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City, said:

“Our stringent regulatory framework is the basis of our success for more than a decade. The global healthcare landscape is evolving rapidly and, as we aim to meet the growing demand for quality healthcare in the region, we constantly look for new talent in a number of medical fields. The online examinations and the updated list of countries reflect this growth.”

Dr Ramadan Ibrahim, Managing Director, Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory, said:

“Strengthening our licensing framework is a core component of maintaining and enhancing our regulatory standards. To update our framework, we monitored requests from healthcare professionals who want to work at DHCC, assessed growing demands in certain specialties which are prominent in certain countries, and undertook careful review of a number of educational and accreditation factors in each of the new countries.”

Michael Brannick, President and CEO of Prometric, commented on the partnership:

“Upholding the UAE’s rigorous standards for medical licensing is a key objective for us as we look to ensure that only qualified healthcare providers receive credentials to deliver patient care. Our dedicated team of psychometricians, test center administrators, candidate care professionals, content security managers and other support staff and leadership will ensure that DHCC physicians pass a world-class computer-based examination programme.”

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) was created, in June 2007, by Law 13 issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, with an expanded vision to include strategic oversight for the complete health sector in Dubai and enhance private sector engagement. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance is the President of the Dubai Health Authority and His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor is the Director-General of the DHA.

The DHA's aim in Dubai is to provide an accessible, effective and integrated healthcare system, protect public health and improve the quality of life within the Emirate. This is a direct translation of the objectives of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Keeping the strategic plan in mind, the DHA's mission is to ensure access to health services, maintain and improve the quality of these services, improve the health status of nationals, residents and visitors and oversee a dynamic, efficient and innovative health sector.

In addition to overseeing the health sector for the Emirate of Dubai, the DHA also focuses on providing services through DHA healthcare facilities including hospitals (Latifa, Dubai, Rashid and Hatta), specialty centres (e.g. the Dubai Diabetes Center) and DHA primary health centres spread throughout the Emirate of Dubai.

The main pillars of service delivery at DHA health facilities are quality, efficiency, patients and staff. It is our aim to maintain and improve the quality and efficiency of DHA health services. An important aspect of the service delivery strategy is to focus on patients, their needs and satisfaction as well as attract, retain, nurture and support outstanding staff.

Prior to the establishment of the DHA, the Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS), which was established in 1973, was the functioning authority that almost exclusively focused on health service delivery.

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