Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) was set up by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2002 to give an environment where the top medical, pharma and healthcare-related companies could conduct their activities freezone and enjoy advantages like full foreign ownership.
The DHCC Authority provides modern medical services in all medicine, pharmacy, and health issues, not limited to the UAE but internationally. DHCC is home to two leading hospitals, over 120 outpatient medical centres and diagnostic laboratories with over 3000 licensed professionals occupying over 4 million square feet, combining medicine and healthcare providers' leading expertise to deliver any medical service at any point in time.
Services Permitted out in DHCC
DHCC does not provide an industrial license; only fixed services are permissible to be carried out, such as:
- Supplying Services
- Offering Holiday Services
- Property Management
- Hotel Operations
- Treatment Services
Professional Licensing in DHCC
All the healthcare professionals (HCPs) within Dubai Healthcare City must obtain a license from the DHCR's Professional Licensing Department (PLD) to practice in their field. The PDL reviews and processes each prospective license application.
Qualification to be Licensed in DHCC
The eligibility criteria for all healthcare professional licensing categories (listed below) within the freezone are filtered based on the type of qualifications one obtains and the countries they were obtained from.
- Medical/dental (General / Specialist)
- Allied health
- CAM (Complementary Alternative Medicine)
Undergraduate/ postgraduate qualification, speciality board or other, if applicable per category & Specialty.
- Recognized institutions must issue a professional qualification from the country of training-
- Undergraduate university degree/diploma and transcript
- Postgraduate qualification and transcript (required for specific specialities only**)
- Specialty board certificate/other certificates and residency/training completion letter from institute/hospital (for medical, dental and faculty specialities only).
- Professional qualifications must have the applicant's full name, completed degree, date of completion, and the institute's name that issued the certificate.
Clinical Work Experience
Will be considered after obtaining the qualifications required for the intended field of practice
- Experiences gained during the training/residency/speciality program to obtain the required qualification shall not be considered.
- It must be related to the category and speciality applied for and achieved in an appropriate clinical setting licensed by the relevant regulatory authority in the country of practice.
- A Letter Of Experience (LOE) in the applied field must be signed and stamped by an employer's authorized signatory (e.g. Medical Director or Human Resource Department).
- The LOE must include the Applicant's name, position(s) held, employment dates, and the issuing hospital/institute's name.
- An Applicant with discontinuation of the practice of more than 2 years from the date of application must submit a letter explaining the reason for the gap in practice. This letter must be submitted online with the application and other essential documents.
- An Applicant must comply with the minimum needed clinical experience by DHCA for the intended field of practice.
- An Applicant must have a valid license to practice and registration in the expected field of practice.
- The license to practice or for registration must be issued from the related government authority in the country of employment.
- An Applicant is responsible for submitting evidence of all licenses to practice or registration over the last two years from the country of practice.
- For specialities where there is no governing authority, the Applicant is responsible for providing official documents from the Ministry/Department of Health or equivalent body to confirm that such specialities are not regulated in the country.
- In countries that issue both a License and Registration – An applicant must submit both documents.
Certificate of Good Standing (CGS)
- A CGS is expected from all healthcare professional Applicants.
- The CGS must be valid and not exceed six months from time of issuance to submission of application.
- The CGS must be allotted by the relevant government authority in the nation of practice.
- The name of applicant and licensed category must appear on the CGS.
DHCA Licensing Exam
Applicants from specific specialities and countries are required to pass a DHCR examination.
English Proficiency Exam
An applicant that is a graduate of a program provided in a language other than English must provide evidence of English proficiency examination:
- (TOEFL) a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) and 78 (internet-based) or (IELTS) a minimum score of 6.0 or equivalent.
- Must be valid and not exceed two years from issuance.
- Worked in a native English speaking country for at least one (1) year may be exempted from the English Proficiency Test.
- The English Proficiency evidence must be valid and not exceed two years from issuance to submission of application.
- Applicants who have practised his/her health care profession or hold a license from a native English speaking country for at least one (1) year may be exempted from the English Proficiency Test.
DHCA Licensing Exam
- Applicants from specific specialities and countries must pass a DHCR examination administered via a Prometric Testing Company.
- An applicant can only undertake the examination after submission of the online application. The Applicant will be informed via email/SMS to continue to tackle the test.
- Prometric examinations are administered in the English language with a multiple-choice questions setup.
- DHCR can provide a list of citing material that applicants may review in preparation for the examination. No samples/examples of examination questions are given.
- An Applicant will be informed of the result (PASS or FAIL) via email by the Prometric Testing Company. No other details (such as scores) will be given.
- An Applicant will be given a maximum of three attempts to pass the examination.
Two written references issued in the last two years from healthcare professionals engaged in the same field of practice
Should be up to date with the latest experience and qualifications.
Police Clearance Certificate
- Only applicable to Dentists and Physicians
- Issued from country of last practice
Latest Personal Photo
Passport size with white background photo should be scanned and submitted in JPEG format.
- Payment can only be through online credit card payment. Cash payments are not permissible.
- Initial review fees should be paid to review the submitted application. Please check the website for the latest fee structure.
- Once the application passed the initial review stage, the Applicant will be notified via email (at each step of the process) to pay the:
- Processing and verification fee;
- License issuance fee; and
- Examination fee (if applicable)
- Each fee transaction will be subject to a knowledge fee and an innovation fee
- All information must be in English. A certified English translation is required and the original documents if the original documents are not in English.
- No attestation of documents is necessary for DHCA licensure purpose. However, it may be expected to apply for a residency permit (visa).
- The preliminary application review (credentialing) may take up to two weeks.
- Once the application passed the preliminary review stage, the relevant submitted documents will be sent for Primary Source Verification (PSV)
- A Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) is a letter provided before a license to practice for those applications that fulfil all DHCR obligations. The LOA assist an applicant in seeking employment in DHCC. The LOA is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Obtaining an LOA does not allow a healthcare professional to commence practice in DHCC without obtaining a license to practice.
- Additional documents, which are not needed at the initial stage but should be submitted before issuing the license to practice, are:
- Evidence of Medical Malpractice Insurance (MMI) for all supported applications. MMI must cover the healthcare professional under the healthcare operator which they will practice.
- An employment/job offer letter from a licensed healthcare operative in DHCC issued in the last three months. The job/employment offer letter must specify the applicant's name, work location, job title, and duration.
- A valid Basic Life Support Certification issued from the American Heart Association (AHA) or any authorized provider. Evidence of registration in DHCC's Al Maktoum Medical Library.
The Procedure for Obtaining a Professional License
The steps include -
- Go to E-Services
- Submit a "New Professional License" application
- Go to "Workspace" and pay the required fees
- The initial application will be reviewed
- Send modification request and/or send exam details (if needed)
- Submit the requested information and/or sit for exam (if applicable)
- Pay the licensing processing fee
- Primary source verification will be done
- Select employer approval
- Pay license issuance with printing and delivery fees
- Submit further requirements like Medical Malpractice Insurance (MML), Al Maktoum Medical Library (AMML), Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Your license will be issued and delivered
Benefits of Obtaining a DHCC License
- 100% ownership
- Tax-free environment
- No customs duties
- Flexible business solutions
- A wide range of business setup services
- Access to the expertise of world-class health and wellness professionals in the area and internationally
How can we help?
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