Financially struggling hospital patients have had their medical bills taken care of thanks to donations worth Dh11 million to the Dubai Health Authority’s assistance programme this year.
Charities and members of the public have offered the cash, helping out 891 patients who would otherwise not have afforded a range of treatments and procedures.
The Mosaadah programme is a key initiative of the authority’s Community and Humanitarian Services Department.
It has paid for procedures for both minor and life threatening conditions such as burns, heart problems and cancer treatments.
Patients from 46 nationalities benefited from the benevolence last year, up from 40 in 2013 and 34 the year before that.
Total numbers benefiting from the programme are also on the rise, almost trebling from 2012 when just 299 patients had their health care paid for.
Salim bin Lahej, DHA director of the community and humanitarian services section, said: “Since the inception of this programme in 2012, we have come a long way.
“Donors and volunteers have made a tremendous difference to the lives of these patients, several of whom are battling chronic-conditions but do not have the means to seek treatment.”
In 2012 the programme helped collect Dh473,322, in 2013 it raised Dh2,879,849 and in 2014 donations worth Dh11,894,696 were received.
Of the 891 patients treated last year, 162 needed surgeries, 124 patients were provided one-time medical assistance and 145 patients received medications.
Other payments were made for general procedures including X-rays, tests and diagnostics, as well as hospital stays and physiotherapy.
“Often the cost of medication is quite expensive,” Mr bin Lahej added.
“For example, patients seeking blindness prevention treatment require four to five injections over a course of few months and each injection is Dh10,000.
“Patients undergoing chemotherapy require several cycles of treatment, each costs approximately Dh8,000.”
In 2014, seventeen patients received medical beds worth Dh79,700 and eight patients were provided with oxygen cylinders costing Dh40,100. Wheelchairs worth Dh32,000 were provided to 11 patients and one patient needed a custom-made prosthetic arm, with the fund paying the Dh9,500 bill.
Donations were raised from the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, Beit Al Khair, Dar Al Bar, Dubai Charity, Union Coop, Dubai Islamic bank Humanitarian Foundation, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation and Axois International.