The UAE is keen on providing accessible healthcare services to people of determination (persons with disabilities or special needs). Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 Concerning the Rights of People with Special Needs protects the rights of people of determination (people with special needs) and guarantees them the right to live with dignity. Article 2 of the law provides: A person's special needs shall not be a reason to deprive him/her of their rights and services especially in welfare as well as social, economic, health, educational, professional, cultural and leisure services.
Emirates Health Services - EHS issues a medical card to people of determination entitling its holder to receive free medical services through EHS. Similarly, Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) also offers a card entitling people of determination to free health insurance and medical glasses for children of such cardholders.
Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) offers assessment and evaluation of mental, psychological, social health of people of determination in order to diagnose the type and the level of disability/limited ability by using certified global standards. It also offers hippo-therapy sessions with the purpose of developing multiple skills and functions such as sensory integration, underdevelopment, sensory perception and balance.
In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, if there is a medical emergency for people of determination, you can get help by sending an SMS to 5999. You are required to send information about the incident, location of the patient and a phone number on which the police can contact you.
Community Development Authority too offers a card to people of determination entitling them to several medical facilities and services.
Dubai’s Health Facility Guidelines 2019 (PDF, 200KB) covers specific requirements for healthcare facilities to ensure that they are safe and functional for staff, patients and everyone else including the people of determination. The section on ‘Access, Mobility, Occupational Health and Safety and Security’ of the guidelines specifies standards in the fields of:
- Human engineering
- Ergonomic considerations
- Accessibility requirements
- Signage guidance
- Safety and mobility considerations for floors, grab rails, doors, windows.