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I WANT TO CONTINUE THE PREGNANCY

 

I WANT TO CONTINUE THE PREGNANCY

I WANT TO CONTINUE MY PREGNANCY IN UAE

The standard of maternity care in Dubai is good. Among expats, the most popular maternity hospitals are Welcare, American and Latifa Hospitals. Latifa Hospital may lack some of the private

hospital frills but it has an excellent reputation for maternity care and pediatrics. 

HOSPITAL IN DUBAI

If you are planning to have a baby in Dubai, having the proper health insurance is more or less a necessity, as the costs during and after the pregnancy are significant. Health insurance, in most cases, is provided by employers, but maternity coverage is not always included.

If you are working, and are covered by a company health plan (or if you are covered under your husband’s company’s health insurance plan), it is very important to go through the policy thoroughly to make sure of what is and is not included in the coverage.

It is extremely important to know the extent of your coverage so that the pregnancy can progress smoothly, without any nasty financial surprises later on!

Depending on the type of insurance policy you have, you could opt for a new maternity insurance policy or, in some cases, it might make more financial sense to opt for a maternity package which can work out to be more economical. No matter what type of coverage you have or intend to get, here are just some of the important issues to consider before you narrow in on a particular insurance company or package:

Pregnancy:

Check how many months the insurance needs to be valid before you can get pregnant. You usually need to apply for insurance up to a year in advance of getting pregnant. If you are pregnant in Dubai and uninsured, the insurance company can add a significant amount to the premium of your existing policy to cover maternity costs.

Check which clinics and hospitals are included in the coverage and whether you are comfortable with them.

Check which tests are covered and how many (like ultrasounds, etc.), and also how many gynecological visits are covered.

Look at the worst-case scenario – what happens if you face complications during the pregnancy? What does the insurance policy or package cover?

Make sure that the maternity coverage includes both natural as well as C-section deliveries.

 

Birth:

Which hospitals are covered for delivery, and are you happy with these?

Are you covered for C-sections and pain relief during these if necessary?

Does the insurance cover any extra care you might require for your baby?

Check how long you and the baby can remain at the hospital, and the extent of post-natal care covered under the policy.

 

If you are uninsured and pregnant in Dubai, consider applying for a Dubai Health Card. This is recommended even if you do have good insurance because it allows you to utilize a government hospital in the case of an emergency (such as premature birth etc.). More information on the Health Card can be found at the Government of Dubai’s website.

 

Maternity Package costs

Many hospitals in Dubai provide antenatal and maternity packages that usually include the care you will need (including essential tests, scans, and doctor’s visits) at a more reasonable cost than per visit.

 

Antenatal package prices can vary depending on the stage of pregnancy you are in at the time of buying the package. Both private and government hospitals in Dubai are reputable, but private hospitals are definitely more expensive.

 

Government hospitals are generally better equipped to deal with emergency situations; there are several government hospitals all across Dubai, so choose one that is close to where you live. Documents required if you are planning to go with a government hospital are a valid Dubai Health Card, marriage certificate, and passport copies for both the husband and wife. The cost of antenatal packages can range from AED 4000 – AED 7000.

 

Normal delivery packages can range from AED 7000 (at most government hospitals) to AED 13,000 at private hospitals for a routine birth without complications, using in-house doctors. Extra nights in the hospital, extra care required during and after pregnancy, and medical complications will all cost extra. If you choose to bring your own doctor, you will need to pay his fees for the delivery separately.

 

Cesarean delivery packages are usually double that of normal delivery and can cost up to AED 25,000. They typically include fees for the operation theater, lab investigations, hospital stay for a stipulated amount of time, pediatric consultation, as well as baby screening and vaccination. They do not include charges for epidurals, twin deliveries, circumcisions, stem cell collection, or use of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which usually costs extra.

 


ANTENATAL PACKAGES

Private hospitals will be more expensive, but if you shop around you may be surprised to find that sometimes the difference between government and private is not as great as you expected. No matter which you choose, if you have medical insurance check that it covers maternity costs. Some have a limitation clause which means you need to have been with the insurer for at least 12 months before conception, and some may not cover any costs at all.  If you go to an independent gynecologist for your prenatal care, you will usually be offered a choice of hospitals and delivery packages, where your doctor can attend for the birth.

EXTRA COSTS
Private hospitals offer maternity packages that include prenatal care, delivery and postnatal care for you and the baby. But remember, the price you are quoted by the hospital is usually for the most

basic ‘best case scenario’ delivery. Should you have additional requirements, such as an epidural (when the anesthetist must be present) or an assisted delivery (when the pediatrician must be present), you will be charged extra. If you give birth by cesarean section, for example, the cost is usually significantly higher and the hospital stay is notably longer (five days, compared to just

two days for standard delivery).

 

Having a baby is a whole new experience for first-time parents, and if you’re going to do it in another country, there’s a whole host of other things to think about. So, where do you start?

Health Cards in Dubai 
If you’re a UAE resident and not covered by private health insurance, or your insurance doesn’t cover maternity care, you can apply for a Health Card. 

The Health Card will cover you for low-cost treatment at public hospitals, but you’ll need to self fund the bigger treatment costs, such as your delivery. 

You can pick up an application form from any public hospital and return it completed in Arabic along with some additional paperwork to any public medical center. The application costs a fee and will need renewing each year.

In Abu Dhabi 
If you’re living in Abu Dhabi, you should already have a Health Card to prove that you have the required health insurance to be in the emirate. 

Public hospitals tend to provide a similar quality of care to private hospitals in the UAE, but private hospitals are popular with expats because they generally have private rooms and shorter waiting times. Emiratis (UAE nationals) receive treatment at public hospitals for free – and care provided for expats is much cheaper than at private hospitals. 

Public hospitals and popular doctors and OBs can have very lengthy wait times, meaning you may have to book your delivery early on in your pregnancy if you want to be treated by a particular doctor or OB. 

Health Cards in Dubai 
If you’re a UAE resident and not covered by private health insurance, or your insurance doesn’t cover maternity care, you can apply for a Health Card. 

The Health Card will cover you for low-cost treatment at public hospitals, but you’ll need to self fund the bigger treatment costs, such as your delivery. 

You can pick up an application form from any public hospital and return it completed in Arabic along with some additional paperwork to any public medical center. The application costs 300 AED for expat adults and will need renewing each year. 

In Abu Dhabi 
If you’re living in Abu Dhabi, you should already have a Health Card to prove that you have the required health insurance to be in the emirate. 

Public hospitals tend to provide a similar quality of care to private hospitals in the UAE, but private hospitals are popular with expats because they generally have private rooms and shorter waiting times. Emiratis (UAE nationals) receive treatment at public hospitals for free – and care provided for expats is much cheaper than at private hospitals. 

Public hospitals and popular doctors and OBs can have very long wait times, meaning you may have to book your delivery early on in your pregnancy if you want to be treated by a particular doctor or OB. 

Prenatal care 
During prenatal appointments, you’ll either see your OB, or a member of their maternity team who’ll follow your pregnancy. Most facilities offer antenatal packages, so you can book all of your appointments early in your pregnancy. These packages are useful because you’re likely to have more appointments throughout your pregnancy than you would if you’re from a Western country – they also allow you to book around your OB’s availability. 

A prenatal package, including 12 prenatal appointments and a routine delivery can cost around 6,000 AED in a public hospital, although this price can increase with any extra tests or medication you need. 

Many private hospitals also offer prenatal packages. These can vary widely in cost from around 6,000 AED to over 22,000 AED. You can use online reviews and recommendations from friends to help you find an OB who’ll deliver a package suited to your needs. 

Many expat women in the UAE choose to use a Doula to support them through their pregnancy and delivery. Most Doulas in the UAE are trained in the UK or USA, and are expats themselves. They will be familiar with the local health system and offer physical and emotional support throughout your pregnancy. 

 

Your delivery 
When you’re choosing your OB and where to deliver your baby, make sure you discuss the details of your birth plan. Private hospitals are more likely to try and accommodate your wishes, but it’s worth noting that home births aren’t allowed in the UAE. Some hospitals will go as far as providing Hypno- or water-births if they’re part of your birthing plan – which isn’t common practice in the UAE. However, there is also a tendency for hospitals to schedule C-section deliveries so that they can manage patient flow, so be sure you make your preferences known in advance. 

You should also check whether you’re allowed anyone to accompany you in the delivery suite when you have your baby, and find out when visitors will be allowed to come and see you. This will be down to the hospital you choose. 

Even if you choose a specific OB, there’s always a chance you’ll go into labor when they’re unavailable. If this happens, the OB working at the time will deliver your baby. They’ll usually be working alongside a delivery team. In the UAE, your OB and delivery team are likely to be expats themselves and all-female.

The stand-alone cost for routine delivery in a public hospital is usually around 700 AED. A routine delivery at a private hospital can start from 7,500 AED but can increase to around 16,500 AED once your accommodation costs and any extras are added. If you’re thinking of having an epidural, they cost around 3,770 AED and will be billed on top of your package cost.

Pregnancy and parenthood - cultural traditions in the UAE 
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are very popular with expats from all around the world. From construction workers to heart surgeons, over 88% of the UAE population are expats. Because of this, the UAE is a melting pot of different cultures and ways of life.

Islamic law prescribes modesty among women, but breastfeeding is also strongly encouraged. Most malls or large shops have nursing rooms for mothers to use. It’s also acceptable to breastfeed discreetly in female prayer rooms. 

Emirati tradition dictates that new-born boys are circumcised and that new-born girl have their ears pierced. Many hospitals offer the option of circumcision (around 2,300 AED) or ear piercing (around 325 AED). This isn’t compulsory and is a decision you’ll be able to make for your child.


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