It’s at this time of year that many people start considering (or in many cases start re-considering) the idea of a move abroad.
A new year brings with it new hopes, a fresh start and the opportunity to do something you’ve been hoping to do for a while. So why not make 2019 the year you finally go for that new life overseas?
Over the final five weeks of 2018 we’re looking at a select group of the countries we work with, and examined why you should make the move in 2019.
During this we’ve recapped some of the major news stories from 2018, what sort of person would be suited to a move, and what the future could have in store.
In the penultimate installment in the series we’re going to taking a look at the United Arab Emirates, still the most popular country we work with thanks to its world leading salaries, and high standard of living.
What made the news in 2018?
It was a typically busy year of health news in the Emirates, with new facilities, studies and achievements regularly making the press. The first major story of the year saw a team of medics from Abu Dhabi's Danat Al Emarat Hospital save the life of a 48 hour old child born with a large Ovarian cyst. Later in the same month it was revealed that patients in Dubai have positive attitudes towards Artifical Intelligence in healthcare, whilst a team at Latifa Hospital in the Emirate saved the life of a child born after just 24 weeks.
In March Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah became the first in the Middle East to take on the latest generation of robot assisted Percutaneous Coronary Interventional technology, perhaps aided by news that private investment in healthcare was soaring throughout the country.
Spring opened with 'Health Pods' introduced in an attempt to identify underlying health issues at an earlier stage, whilst female health took centre-stage at the World Congress on Gynaecology and Obstetrics - with the five biggest health problems facing females in the UAE examined.
April was a hectic month, and the news continued with the introduction of AI technology that could help children with Autism. It was then revealed that millionaires in the Emirates believed that their health was more important than wealth, before three obesity related stories concluded the month.
The first saw attempts to reduce rates in the country recognised at a conference studying the scale of the issue regionwide, before a new study revealed that children's awareness of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle hit an all time high.
Just how big an issue childhood obesity is however was illustrated when it was revealed that Sheikh Khalifa Medical City would offer Gastric Balloon surgery to patients as young as 11, albeit only in extreme cases.
May opened with a new partnership giving free healthcare to thousands of expats in the country, whilst the demand for healthcare was also hitting record highs. Later in the month we took a special look at new Visa laws in the country, which were great for expats seeking a long-term move to the Emirates.
In June a new report illustrated just how impressive the UAE's development in recent years has been - with life expetancy rising by six years nationwide. Perhaps this figure will rise further in the future, thanks to the introduction of new telemedical technology that makes it possible to visit a GP on your phone.
Elsewhere it was revealed that secondary infertility rates had risen notably - potentially leading to a decline in population numbers in the future.
Technology was back in the news in July, with Virtual Reality advancements helping stroke patients in the UAE to recover. Plans were also revealed for a star-rating system to be introduced for hospitals in Dubai.
August was an equally as busy month, with a report praising the Emirates' healthcare system as the best in the Middle East. It was therefore little of a surprise that the UAE (and Saudi Arabia) came ahead of a host of countries (including the United Kingdom) in a report into the wellbeing of the nation. It was also revealed that fewer people than ever were leaving the UAE for medical treatment overseas. The month ended with rare surgery being carried out in Ras-Al-Khamaih to restore the sight of a patient suffering from optic neuritis.
As summer became early Autumn, King's College opened a new facilitity based beside Dubai's stunning marina, shortly after a Tuberculosis awareness campaign was launched nationwide - with the aim of totally erradicting the condition.
In October another campaign was launched, this time aimed at increasing awareness around the causes of hypertension - and issues relating to it, whilst a month later Breast Cancer was placed in the spotlight.
The year concluded with great psychiatric care being offered under the basic healthcare package, with the UAE following global trends in noticing a sharp rise in the number of patients seeking mental health support.
Who would be suited to a move?
The UAE really is ideal for anyone, but ideally we'd reccomend it to someone with a reasonable degree of experience. Working in the UAE can be quite an independent experience where you will rely on strong problem solving skills, and so it is ideal for someone with more than five years post-training experience.
With plenty to do, and the safety and security of compound living, the country is ideal for people with young families.
What does the future hold?
For now things look fairly secure, with healthcare being seen as the key to driving the economy away from a reliance on oil. This might not be the case longer term however - so if you're looking to spend the rest of your life overseas, the UAE is probably not the ideal location.