In addition to being the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi plays a very important role in the country’s economy. It is the center of the political life of the country, industrial activities, and cultural tradition. This emirate is the ideal place for those healthcare professionals who want to start a medical practice in Abu Dhabi or become licensed doctors. However, in order to achieve this, it is necessary to apply for a HAAD license.
In this article, you will get information about what a HAAD medical license is, the process to obtain it, the documents needed to acquire one, and how we can help you in this process.
- What is the HAAD medical license?
- How to apply for a Health Professional License?
- What are the requirements for medical license?
- Required fees for a new HAAD license
- How to register for the HAAD license exam?
- HAAD license renewal
- Eligibility requirements for medical doctors
- How can we help you obtain a HAAD medical license?
1. What is the HAAD medical license?
In the United Arab Emirates, if an individual intends to practice as a professional, they need to obtain a license from the relevant government body. For healthcare professionals who want to work in Abu Dhabi, the government entity in charge of issuing these licenses is the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
The HAAD medical license is an official document that offers licensure to medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to work in the UAE. Upon contacting HAAD you must categorize your particular profession and take the corresponding exam. This exam is for dentists, doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses, etc.
There are different exams depending on the individual’s profession. For example:
- Doctors: In Abu Dhabi, doctors must apply for specific licenses from HAAD depending on their job title. For example, consultants, specialists, general dentists, resident dentists, etc.
- Nurses: Professionals who are nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered midwives, mental health nurses, assistant nurses, pediatric nurses, or community nurses must apply for a specific license.
- Pharmacists: These professionals must take different exams depending on their specializations, although the specializations in pharmacy are limited. The HAAD classifies pharmacists into community pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, and also pharmacy technicians.
- Dentists: These professionals must obtain specific licenses by HAAD depending on whether they are consultants, general dentists, specialists, or resident dentists.
- Dietitians: Individuals interested in becoming dietitians must also acquire a license. HAAD provides a course created specifically for dietitians for potential licenses.
- Other professions that must take the HAAD exam are alternative medical practitioners, homeopathy, osteopathic medicine, physiotherapists, chiropractic medicine, and also naturopathic medicine.
1.1 HAAD Exam
All healthcare professionals including technicians, doctors, traditional practitioners, pharmacists, and dentists, especially out of the UAE, can apply for a medical license in the country online. Each professional can apply for the fully-online examination and evaluation system (EES) in their country of origin, thus reducing time and costs. Also, you can pay all the fees electronically.
1.2 Written exam
Some professions that have to take the HAAD exam, need to take a written exam too. This comprises 100 questions with a maximum time of 2.5 hours, which means 90 seconds per question. The passing grade will depend on the country of origin of the professional, for example, a student from India must achieve 80% or more to pass the exam. If you fail the exam, you must wait three months before taking the exam again.
2. How to apply for a Health Professional License?
All healthcare professionals can apply for a medical license through the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi’s website. The process is the following:
- You must submit the application form and required documents through the verification company imposed by HAAD.
- After submitting the necessary documents, you will receive an email with the application number and payment methods.
- Make sure to process the payment to the verification company with a credit card.
- After you are successfully verified you will receive another email, which will provide you with a password and username along with a link to the HAAD e-licensing system.
- The next step is to complete the application process through the official website with the received credentials.
- The Health Professional licensing section of the HAAD will review the application and depending on the result, you will be forwarded either for the exam or for direct licensure (in this case, the applicant does not need to take the exam)
- Once your application is approved, you can register for the exam.
- When the license is approved, you must pay the corresponding fees.
- Once all these steps are done you can finally get your medical license.
3. What are the requirements for a medical license?
All documents required by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi to obtain the license must first be legally translated into English. In general, the documents required by the HAAD are the following:
- A valid copy of the Passport
- Experience certificates
- Staff data clearance form (provided in the application)
- Educational qualifications
- Recent passport-sized photograph (with a white background)
- A letter of nomination (for applicants sponsored by visa facilities)
- Malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals
- Certificate of good standing from relevant regulatory authorities
- Completed application declaration form signed by the applicant
- Valid Health Professional License.
4. Required fees for a new HAAD license
Those individuals applying for a HAAD license must pay all examination and license fees to the verification company imposed by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi. The fees for the exam will differ according to the type of exam applied. Meanwhile, the licensing fees will depend on the field of specialization.
Some of the HAAD license fees for different medical practices are the following:
- Pharmacist: AED 300
- Technology: AED 300
- Pharmacist tech: AED 150
- Physicians: AED 2,600
- Technology: AED 300
For a full list of licensing and exam fees for specific medical disciplines, you can visit the HAAD website.
5. How to register for the HAAD medical license exam?
After verification, applicants must go to the official website and go through the following process to register for the HAAD license exam:
- Login to the system.
- Click on e-license and choose the examination option
- Select exam scheduling.
- Click on book
- Pay the fees and get your exam ticket
You can pay the exam fee with credit cards. In addition, the exams can be taken at authorized testing centers in the applicants’ country of origin. The exam test center in Abu Dhabi is DoH Abu Dhabi.
5.1 Special conditions
Some health professionals may not need to take the HAAD exam, as specified on the HAAD site. In addition to this, health professionals over the age of sixty must take the annual Medical Fitness Examinations from the SEHA facilities.
6. HAAD license renewal
Those medical professionals who successfully acquired the HAAD license must renew it after five years, starting from the time after approving the exam. Before renewal, the applicants must submit certain documentation or pass certain exams. The sponsoring healthcare facilities can ask their healthcare professionals to apply for license renewals.
Like the HAAD license application process, renewals can be done online. The process to do it is the following:
- Complete the application form on the HAAD website
- Submit the necessary documentation online
- Make the required payment at the Licensing Section in the HAAD.
- Receive your renewed license via courier (Empost)
Documents required for the HAAD License renewal
Those individuals who want to renew their license must present the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Malpractice insurance
- Recent passport-sized picture with white background
- Emirates ID
- Family book (only for UAE nationals)
- Continuous medical education
The website of the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi also mentions the charges for every license renewal. These fees are the following:
- Pharmacy technicians: For a one-year and a two-year renewal the fee will be AED 100.
- Pharmacists: For a one-year renewal the fee will be AED 200, meanwhile for a two-year renewal the fee will be AED 300.
- Technicians (clinical support service): AED 200 for a one-year renewal and AED 300 for a two-year renewal.
- Nursing: The renewal fee will cost the same as the last two renewal processes, AED 200 for a one year and AED 300 for two years.
- Physicians: AED 850 for a one-year renewal, and AED 1600 for a two-year renewal.
Those licenses that are not renewed six months after their expiration date will be legally canceled. Also, those applicants who do not renew their licenses before the expiration date will be penalized.
7. Eligibility requirements for medical doctors
In Abu Dhabi, the requirements to legally operate as a doctor may vary depending on your country of origin and your specialization. All medical doctors (physicians) and dentists must submit evidence of current certification, license, and a certificate of good standing from the state, country, or province of origin. Also, they must provide a license from the country of previous and current practice. (Not applicable for UAE nationals)
In the case of consultants, if you are not practicing in a Western, North American, or European Union country, you must provide evidence of current licensure and also a Certificate of Good Standing from the appropriate licensing authority. (Not applicable for UAE nationals)
An example of the more detailed requirements is the following:
7.1 Consultant physician
If you are a resident of the USA, Canada, France, Germany, or the UK, you must have three years of experience as a consultant or equivalent post board certification. Also, you must have two years in the country of certification.
For a UAE national, working as a specialist is equivalent to working as a consultant.
On the other hand, if you are from countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, India, or Hong Kong, you must have eight years of full-time employment as a consultant or equivalent by a World Health Organization (WHO) listed medical school.
7.2 Specialist physician
These professionals must present a specialization certificate obtained after a full-time structure residency course/program at a university center, teaching hospital, etc. Also, it should involve the personal participation of the doctor applying to be a specialist in the activity of the establishment concerned.
UAE nationals must work for a year in their field of specialty.
7.3 Medical practitioner
The individual must be graduated from a medical college/school listed in the directory of medical school published by the World Health Organization or he must be graduated from a medical college/school listed in the International Medical Education and Research. They must present a current national license and successful completion of an internship. They must also have two years of relevant experience post-internship.
7.4 Medical intern
Like medical practitioners, individuals must be graduated from a medical college/school listed in the directory of medical schools published by the World Health Organization or they must be graduated from a medical college/school listed in the International Medical Education Directory of the foundation for the Advancement on International Medical Education and Research.
8. How can we help you obtain a HAAD medical license?
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