Staying Healthy General Availability Of Healthcare

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Modern medical care and medicines are widely available in Dubai and the UAE's other principal cities, but may not be in outlying areas. Your hotel concierge or consulate is also a good place for a list of recommended doctors and specialists.

Dubai's healthcare network includes four government hospitals that provide care at relatively low costs, and a number of expensive private hospitals and medical clinics. Emergency care in the government hospitals is free regardless of nationality.

Dubai Healthcare City (www.dhcc.ae) aims to become the preeminent healthcare services center in the region. It's designed as an integrated center for clinical and wellness services, medical education, and research, and has teamed up with the Harvard Medical School. It includes a network of hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies, and wellness centers.

Some general tips: Take a sufficient supply of your prescription medicines. It's a good idea to carry a copy of the prescriptions or a letter from your doctor, and to write down the generic names of those prescription drugs. Non-prescription cost about $40 per person. Taxis remain relatively inexpensive.

Cash is the prevalent means of paying in Dubai, although credit and debit cards are widely accepted. This is the case just about everywhere except in the souks. ATMs are prevalent throughout the city, available not just in banks but in many supermarkets and shopping centers, as well. Most accept a wide range of cards, including those linked to the Plus system, American Express, Global Access, MasterCard, and Visa. Currency and traveler's check exchange is possible in most banks, exchange houses, and many hotels.

medicines that travelers should consider packing include aspirin or other pain reliever, antihistamine, Imodium or other anti-diarrheal, re-hydration mixture, antiseptic, multivitamins, bandages, sunscreen, and Chap Stick. It's also wise to take a spare pair of glasses and contacts with you.

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