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Patient Negligence Causing Problems for Dubai Healthcare System
Posted on Oct 07, 2015 by Travis Jones
Medical costs across the UAE and Dubai are constantly going up for many reasons. One reason for this that doctors have been pointing too is a lack on compliance to their directions on the part of their patients. How is this affecting both individuals and the Dubai healthcare system at large? Find out more here.
Do you follow medical advice? I mean really follow it? Sure, you probably follow your doctor’s advice as best you can, but do you look into the details of every treatment you receive, or every medicine you take, or every piece of dietary advice a medical professional gives you? How about nutrition? When your doctor tells you what you should or shouldn’t eat, do you heed their advice, or just brush it off? The answers to these questions are becoming a big issue for the Dubai healthcare system as a whole, as the negligence of patients is said to be leading to deteriorating health and increasing the level of medical care expenditure in the Emirate. Here, we examine what patient negligence in Dubai looks like, its effect on both individuals and the larger healthcare system, and what can be done to help the situation.
The face of patient negligence in Dubai
There are a number of ways that patients hurt themselves by not adhering to professional medical advice closely. One of the biggest among these is not taking medicine correctly or in the proper dosage. The fact is that lifestyle diseases are some of the most prevalent illnesses in Dubai these days, which include chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These diseases take constant and sometimes lifelong management to be dealt with. In order to achieve desired health outcomes, specific dosages and timing are likely to be prescribed by a person’s doctors. Any deviation from the prescribed plan can result in complications. For example, if a diabetes patient decides that they will take upon themselves to increase their dosage of insulin so that they may eat more sugary food throughout the day, reduced sensitivity to medication and other unforeseen conditions could occur that may lead to a complication as serious as the amputation of a foot.
The statistics bear out the prevalence of lifestyle diseases in the United Arab Emirates. A majority of the population is obese, and obese kids are now dealing with high cholesterol. The average age for developing cardiovascular disease in the UAE is now 45, where the global average is 65. Furthermore, diabetes now affects nearly a fifth of the UAE’s total population.
If you will notice, most, if not all, of these ailments are related to sedentary living and a poor diet. That’s why not heeding a doctor’s nutritional advice is one of the other major problems facing the Dubai healthcare system today. Every year the medical community learns more about how the food we eat affects the body and the various chemical reactions that take place within it. By now, when a doctor says to cut something out of our diets, be it sugar, salt, cholesterol or anything else, they do so with an intimate knowledge of how this food is negatively impacting our health. Unfortunately, will power can be hard to come by for some, while others are simply set in their ways, and nutrition advice can be easily forgotten if not taken seriously.
As a result of these, as well as other, factors Dubai is now spending more than ever on the cost of healthcare.
Effects on the healthcare system
The most recent figures tell us that over AED 10 billion are spent each year in Dubai on health care. If patients continue to not follow their doctor’s advice correctly, this number is likely to increase for several reasons.
First among these is simply that not following proper treatment courses will greatly increase the incidences and severity of disease. This will keep hospital beds filled and demand for medical services high. To go along with this, the tests and lab work that go hand-in-hand with hospitalization or doctors visits will also keep technicians in high demand.
Furthermore, additional trips to the doctor may compel them to increase the dosage and frequency of medication or other treatments. For instance, if a patient does not properly take a course of antibiotics, the bacteria in their body may develop a resistance to the medication. In this case the disease may come back stronger than ever and more serious pharmaceuticals will likely need to be used, which may have an adverse effect on the patient.
All of this comes back to the main theme of incrementally increasing medical costs. Each trip to the doctor, each test and each new prescription not only costs either a patient or their insurer, but also taxes the healthcare system as a whole in combination with all the other patients needing attention. This raises the overall use and demand of the system, and makes it more likely that costs will rise in both the short and long term.
Be the best patient you can be
It’s in everyone’s best interest that each patient does their best to adhere to the advice of their medical professionals. So how is this best accomplished?
Communicate with your doctor: Each patient needs to speak with their doctors to fully understand the reasons why they are being given a particular course of action. This responsibility doesn’t fall completely on the patient either. Doctors themselves should be willing to take the time to explain their reasoning. If you come away from an appointment questioning the doctor’s orders, and are unable to get them to answer any questions you may have, it might be time to find a doctor that will address your concerns
Create a routine and form habits: One of the biggest reasons that people can’t stick to their prescribed regiment, whether it be taking medication at specific times or sticking to an advised diet, is that we are all creatures of habit. We have our own routines, and sometimes breaking out of them can be difficult. For this reason, it’s important to recognize that forming new habits takes time, so the first several weeks is the most important time to be diligent about adherence to a new program. Some experts say it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit, while other research suggests it can take about 2 months. The bottom line is, focus on your initial success, and you will adapt so that it’s easier in the long run.
Research: Communicating with your doctor is important, but it’s also important to do your own research so that you fully understand your conditions and their treatment. Utilize online resources and publications to learn as much as you can. Also, many chronic conditions have online forums and support groups where you can relate to others that are facing your same problems. If you have a disagreement with your doctor’s assessments, perhaps someone who has already gone through what you are experiencing can either confirm or deny your thoughts.
As you can see, it’s up to both patients and doctors working together to secure the best healthcare outcomes. Of course, making sure that you have access to quality medical care is the first step, so UAE Medical Insurance reminds you of the importance of having comprehensive health insurance coverage to address your healthcare needs. With the recent changes in Dubai regarding health insurance requirements, even your doctor may not be able to answer your questions regarding payment for your treatment. That’s why UAE Medical Insurance agents are always available to help guide you through the process of obtaining the best possible medical insurance plan for your needs. Contact us today and we can provide you with a free quote and plan comparison, as well as answer any questions you may have.