DHA launches new stem cell therapy

 

The Khaleej Times states that, to promote health tourism, the Dubai Health Authority has introduced stem cell therapy for aesthetic and degenerative treatments. According to the article, a senior official said the aim was to promote innovation and advancement in the field of medicine and contribute towards evidence-based practice.

The authority will introduce guidelines through a new Stem Cell Scientific Board for those seeking to offer Autologous Stem Cell therapy (cells derived from one's own fat and blood).

Stem cell therapies have been used since the 1980s and there is hope that it may offer the potential to treat challenging diseases or conditions for which few treatments exist. Although the evidence base is limited, many research institutes across the world are investigating how stem cells can offer new effective therapies to treat degenerative diseases.

Dr Marwan Al Mulla, chief executive officer for the health regulation sector DHA, said: "The authority has recently established the Stem Cell Scientific Board which is tasked to delineate the requirements for provision of the autologous stem cell therapy in Dubai. We have started with the professional and facility licensure requirements and the board will be soon issuing a detailed guideline.”

"We want to ensure that while Dubai today is a global destination for health tourism being at the forefront of cutting edge innovation; plays its role in finding a solution to provide high-quality and safe aesthetic treatments in addition to the treatment of degenerative diseases using the stem cell technology," he explained.

He said that as regulator, the authority has a responsibility to ensure patients are kept safe from unregulated treatments.

"We also have to pave the way for new medical advancements while physicians have an ethical, moral and social responsibility to progress the field of medicine," said Dr Marwan.

"This includes being clear and upfront with their patients on the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of treatments including the autologous stem cell treatments and reporting outcome data to the Stem Cell Scientific Board to ensure the next generation of physicians and researchers are able to progress with the evidence based practice in this field of medicine," he added.

Dr Hanan Al Obaid, director of health policy department at the DHA, said: "We are adopting a risk-based and science-based approach to ensure we also strengthen our research capacity. We welcome investors who offer autologous stem cell therapy that will be ethically approved by the Stem Cell Scientific Board."

The DHA is adopting an incremental approach toward the regulation of autologous stem cells. "Therefore, we have set out interim requirements for healthcare providers to follow and will be introducing detailed guidelines for autologous stem cells therapies through the Stem Cell Scientific Board. All healthcare facilities must ensure they acquire the necessary written approval for their health facility and health professionals to provide the treatment," she said.

For a detailed assessment of stem cell therapy in the medical tourism industry, view the Medical Tourism Research: Facts and Figures 2018 report.

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