Factors that Affect Access to the Healthcare Services in Rural Areas in the UAE: Hatta Hospital Case Study

Case Study about Hatta Hospital in the UAE


  • Noora Al Zarooni Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government; Higher College of Technology, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • Prof. Dr. Melodena Stephens Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Convention Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Professor Dr Immanuel Azaad Moonesar Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, Convention Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Access to the healthcare system, Rural areas, Rural health care, Heath care system, Health services reform, Health services accessibility, Healthcare disparities, Quality, Health Policy


Background: Despite the differences in the type and quality of healthcare services provided in developing and developed countries, there are still several challenges, especially in providing healthcare services in rural and remote areas.

Methods: A qualitative method was chosen for this research. A case study about Hatta Hospital was used to study the barriers and strategies the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) adopted to provide healthcare services for people in rural communities in the Emirate of Dubai.

Results: Many barriers affect the delivery of healthcare services to rural residents. These barriers were summed up as structural, financial, and cognitive barriers.  In this study, cognitive barriers, such as health literacy, social stigma, awareness to get the resources, and language, were the main barriers, followed by structural barriers like transportation and availability. The financial barriers were not found to be significant in this case study.

Conclusion: Accessing to healthcare services in rural areas was considered as a common point in all countries worldwide. There were challenges that could block this like structural, financial and cognitive. The situation in the UAE in general and in DHA, in particular, was quite good and moving forward to reduce the gaps between the urban and rural areas in providing healthcare services. The DHA had many strategies that were implemented to provide high quality services not only in Dubai city, but also to its rural areas like Hatta. These strategies included build up a hospital that has all emergency services, affiliation with larger system or networks, improve the employees’ condition and implement and activate using the telehealth.


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How to Cite

Al Zarooni, N., Stephens , M. ., & Moonesar , I. (2023). Factors that Affect Access to the Healthcare Services in Rural Areas in the UAE: Hatta Hospital Case Study: Case Study about Hatta Hospital in the UAE . Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries, 17(02). Retrieved from https://jhidc.org/index.php/jhidc/article/view/388



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