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Tue 1 May 2007 12:30 PM

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Relocation rumours stir premise panic

Dubai's private hospitals have voiced confusion over press reports announcing new healthcare legislation that will tighten laws on premises used to provide medical services.

Dubai's private hospitals have voiced confusion over press reports announcing new healthcare legislation that will tighten laws on premises used to provide medical services.

The Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS) has reportedly established new design specifications, which will see hospitals currently operating out of commercial buildings, without street level access, asked to relocate to new premises or close.

According to reports, businesses have only five years to source new properties that comply with the regulations, which are based on guidelines from the American Institute of Architects.

Private hospitals polled by
Medical Times

, however, reported receiving no official notification of the changes. Sameer Saheed, acting operations and marketing manager at Belhoul European Hospital, said staff were perplexed by the lack of communication. The hospital, which has operated out of a second-floor facility for 11 years, would be directly affected by the alleged legislation.

"We've received no details from DoHMS, but we are waiting to hear from them," he said. "We've read (the stories) from the newspapers, but nothing official has come through."

A spokesperson for Al Rafa Hospital, based in Bur Dubai, also confirmed the facility had yet to receive any updated guidelines. "We're presuming DoHMS would have informed us if the changes were imminent," he said.

Dr Odeh Ahmad Odeh, of DoHMS licensing and specification department, declined to comment on the reports.

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