Dubai is the current and future destination for healthcare investments in the region, said Dr. Mhd. Oussama Kayali, head of regulation section at the Health Regulation Department, on the sidelines of inaugurating iCare’s seventh outlet in Dubai on Monday.Kayali said: “Our target is to boost patients – under medical tourism – coming into the UAE for treatment to 500,000 by 2020, which is currently estimated at 280,000. The UAE healthcare landscape is built on a strong foundation of international expertise, superlative facilities and robust growth. Healthcare partners such as iCare Clinics bring extensive expertise and specialised patient care services to communities and help ensure the wellbeing of both families and individuals. Healthcare tourism has taken a new dimension with readily available technologies and services offered in the UAE, and expansion of healthcare service providers who bring in the best in medical excellence to patients is a progressive sign for this sector.”According to the Dubai Health Authority statistics, the total number of licensed professionals have jumped to 33,627 in 2015 against 30,633 in 2014 and during same period the total number of facilties also jumped from 2,775 to 2,921. Kayali attributes the success of Dubai’s healthcare sector growth to future investments, quoting the Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan 2015-2025, which states that “the needs of the health sector are clear through the Dubai Clinical Services Capacity Plan 2015-2025 which shows the disciplines needed in the emirate of Dubai. There are also other factors that support the future investments such as the Expo 2020 and the medical tourism programme in addition to the full application of the mandatory health insurance scheme.”Currently 70 per cent of the healthcare services in the UAE is met by the private sector compare to 30 per cent some couple of years ago.The outpatient and inpatient markets are projected to reach 12.1 billion and 7.5 billion, respectively, in 2020. The country is likely to see an increase in demand for the number of hospital beds at nearly three per cent every year to reach more than 13,800 beds by 2020, according to Alpen Capital research.