In an exciting development, the UAE has recently issued the first piece of federal legislation that addresses the provision of health services remotely (Telehealth Services). This article takes a closer look at the specific conditions and regulations being introduced and how they apply to various Telehealth services.
On 2 July 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued Cabinet resolution No. 40 of 2019 concerning the Executive Regulation* on Medical Liability, which enclosed an addendum related to the regulations and conditions for providing Telehealth Services in the UAE (Federal Telehealth Regulations). Prior to the Federal Telehealth Regulations, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority had issued an administrative resolution** in 2017, approving the Regulations of Telehealth Care Services (Dubai Telehealth Regulations). The scope of the Dubai Telehealth Regulations is limited to the Emirate of Dubai.
The Federal Telehealth Regulations sets out the general conditions and regulations (General Controls) applicable to the various types of Telehealth Services provided remotely in the UAE, and the specific conditions and regulations (Specific Controls) applicable to certain (but not necessarily all) Telehealth Services.
The General Controls apply to all establishments in which Telehealth Services are provided (Telehealth Establishment) and any Telehealth Services' recipient (Recipient). In addition to obtaining the relevant licenses from the competent authorities, each Telehealth Establishment must adhere to specific technical, IT, insurance and staff training requirements and apply the relevant working guidelines described in the Federal Telehealth Regulations.
In order to comply with the General Controls, a Recipient must also agree to:
In addition to the General Controls, the Federal Telehealth Regulations sets out Specific Controls applicable to certain Telehealth Services. The Specific Controls include technical specifications, data and privacy protection considerations and other documentation requirements specifically applicable to certain Telehealth Services.
The various forms of Telehealth Services are set out and defined in the Federal Telehealth Regulations. These are Telehealth Consultation, Telehealth Treatment, Telehealth Diagnosis, Telehealth Monitoring and Telehealth Intervention. The definition of each of these services is provided in the Federal Telehealth Regulations as follows:
We have been closely following the latest developments in Telehealth in the UAE and as part of our regular briefing seminars, our Middle East Healthcare Group hosted a panel discussion on Telehealth Services generally and Dubai Telehealth Regulations in particular, and invited a group of telehealth experts to share their views.
Clyde & Co has one of the most active healthcare practices in the Middle East, with significant capabilities covering a wide range of legal services within the sector. We plan to host a series of panel discussions related to Healthcare Services, including the Federal Telehealth Regulations and other healthcare related topics. Click here if you wish to to receive all our telehealth and wider healthcare related news, publications and event invitations directly.
Should you have any queries on how the Federal Telehealth Regulations may affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact Naji Hawayek or Farah AlNabulsi or any member of Clyde & Co's Healthcare team in Dubai.
* Executive Regulation of Federal Decree Law No. 4 of 2016
** Administrative Resolution no. 30 of 2017