Homecare Health Services

As today’s technology becomes far advanced, so are debilitating diseases afflicting people from the culturally diverse and highly industrialized emirate of Abu Dhabi. The local government invests a great deal on the design of its thrust programs equipped with sophisticated system and infrastructure to boost productivity rates and enhance quality of outcomes. Cognizant of the influence of its workforce on exponential growth, it makes certain that its residents gain access to equitable and quality health care, especially in the course of their employment.

While it holds true that the efforts people put in are remunerated well based on the mean salary for skilled workers in the region, it is likely that there is as much health risks as there are work benefits. Exposure, for instance, over a protracted time period to workplace hazards coupled with unhealthful lifestyle choices is associated with the development of cardiovascular, neurologic, endocrine, and oncologic cases based on recent epidemiologic reports ofHealth Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD, 2011). The financial and emotional burden of these on the economically productive group is compounded further by the latter’s need to assume equally significant roles in the home, like taking care of the young ones and the very old or ailing members of the family.

Albeit confinement to medical facilities would afford them security and convenience on account of health resources, it does grab them of the opportunity of being able to share quality time with the people close to their hearts. The in-patient services, however, may not be as cost-effective as it is when patient is brought home along with the medical assistance he would need during rehabilitation.

The growing demand for the continuity of care following hospital discharge and for greater collaboration among health personnel creates the urgency for homecare health services (HHS). HAAD feels strongly that encouraging home-specific strategies devised by private sectors is essential to achieving the health targets set forth and, on a bigger scale, setting the future directions of the Emirate.


In consonance with HAAD’s sound philosophy and objectives, the Pyramids Health Services (PHS) is truly passionate about helping deliver client-focused homecare services, which essentially cut down healthcare cost and add value to patient care. Expounded below are the salient points of HHS program:

Brings families together. This is particularly important in times of illness when families desire to be near one another for support. Home care is a comforting alternative to premature admission to a long-term care facility. Since most people would prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible, home care can provide services tailored fit to client’s needs.

Promotes healing. There is scientific evidence that many patients heal faster at home. It also prevents unnecessary visit to ER and hospital clinics after discharge.

Safe. Risk for infection is reduced significantly and its spread controlled more easily and effectively in the home. Early intervention and visit reduce disease complications.

Promotes continuity of care. Patient’s own physician continues to oversee his or her care. Home care is personalized or customized to individual needs. Patients receive one-on-one care and attention.

Less expensive. If skilled care is not needed around the clock, home care allows for creating individualized care plan that surely meets patient’s needs and considers the budget or health financing. In fact, the cost of having a visiting nurse is much cheaper than the hospital fee during confinement.

The preferred form of care. Studies show that 95 percent of those aged 75 and older would love to stay, as much as possible, in their current residence while receiving treatment or care.

Provides for greater degree of freedom and privacy. Patients at home remain active in their customary or daily routines within their comfort zones, free from worries or irritations brought about by immediate environment.

The figure below depicts the pyramidal distribution of the 2.4-million people in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. One in five residents (or 18 percent) are Nationals, of whom two thirds are under 30 and half under 19, around which the median age falls. The combined population of both the locale and foreign residents forms a symmetrical base, representing those younger than 20. At its center lies a broad configuration skewed largely to the right, corresponding to expatriates, mostly male and of Asian origin, in their economically productive years (20 to 40). The acme, on the other hand, is reflective of those who are nearing or who may have in fact gone beyond the life expectancy at birth reckoned between 74.9 (for males) and 77 years (for females), respectively.  
Figure 1. Population by age, gender and nationality (HAAD Health Statistics, 2011)    
Abu Dhabi’s population has demonstrated steady increase since 1999 at a rate of 5.5, with a significant decline noted in the year 2009. While the fertility rates—the main driver of growth for Nationals—have diminished from 4.4 to 2.3 per woman between 1990 and 2007, the mortality rates have lowered as a confluence of the robust implementation of health ministry’s thrust programs andservices. The resultant decrease in the birth rates, however, are thought to have stemmed from urbanization, delayed marriage, changing attitudes about family size, and increased education and work opportunities for women.
In addition, the World Health Organization has reported a marked decrease in the ‘Under 5 Mortality’ from 15 to 7 per 1,000 live births between 1990 and 2009. The diseases of Circulatory System, on the contrary, ranked as the leading cause of deaths in 2011, accounting for 37.50 percent of all death cases registered, followed by the external causes of morbidity and mortality and neoplasms. Road traffic accidents involving young males and occupation-related injuries have been identified as root of such demise.
Interestingly, the preliminary analysis of the Weqaya screening on 112,301 UAE Nationals from 2008 to 2009 revealed that 71% had at least one CVD risk factor. Many were unaware, thus unable to seek care. The following risk factors were projected to increase through time: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high lipids, and smoking.
In lieu of the foregoing statistics, lifestyle-related conditions such as Diabetes mellitus and Cancer remain as one of the prevailing public health concerns. Government attempts are aimed at preventing these diseases from occurring at the outset by working with a range of stakeholders. One creativesolution that the regulatory body recommends is treating patients, particularly those who are frail, in their homes. It is therefore the agency’s desire that they are treated outside hospital wherever possible; their care communicated clearly and timely through proper channels while the latter is transported to the appropriate facility by means feasible, i.e. land or air.    
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HAAD’s end-view of world-class quality care and outcomes in compliance with the highest international standards can be achieved through the full spectrum of health––protecting, promoting, sustaining and restoring services. Through the mandatory health insurance initiated in 2007 and with residence status being generally contingent on being employed, everyone in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi gains access to healthcare and enjoys freedom to choose his/her provider.    
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