LOOKING AT HEALTH CARE
Before the discovery of oil, modern medical services were very limited in the UAE. Even the simplest operation involved an expensive stay in a hospital abroad. With the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the investment in health care has been enormous. Highly complex operations such as open heart surgery and even some organ transplants can now be carried out in the country's modern hospitals. A countrywide health education program has been established and access to all kinds of health care is possible. 

There are 32 public and 14 private hospitals. There are also 130 outpatient clinics throughout the country. The health system is two-tiered. Emirati citizens enjoy free hospital treatment and medical care. Non-Emiratis must pay for health care. 

Efforts have been made to develop effective programs of preventive medicine. Vaccination and prevention programs have helped to control diseases that were once common among children, such as malaria, measles and tuberculosis. The UAE has reduced infant mortality to less than 19 deaths for every 1000 births, which is lower than the United Nations' international targets. Life expectancy is now 73 years for women and 71 years for men.

 The development of the country's health services has been accompanied by the introduction of local training for nurses, medical staff and doctors. The Emirates University has attracted some of the world's top specialists to train students in the Emirates.

 Did you know? 
 
Women's groups throughout the country have been at the forefront of the campaign to educate women. Today two- thirds of the students at the Emirates National University are women.
 
The development of the country's health services has been accompanied by the introduction of local training for nurses, medical staff and doctors. The Emirates University has attracted some of the world's top specialists to train students in the Emirates.

 The Ministry of Health is organizing a system of care for the elderly because of the large increase in their numbers in recent times. Although the elderly are generally cared for at home, in accordance with cultural traditions and Islamic teachings, support systems are required to help families provide modern care. 

For thousands of years the Bedouin tribes of the desert have known about the medicinal properties of many plants. Medicinal herbs include the senna plant, which the Bedouin claim can cure stomach pain. Other plants are used to relieve toothaches and headaches or clear sinuses. The poisonous plant Rhazya stricta is used in small quantities to treat stomach upsets. The Zayed Herbal Centre is devoted to research on the use of herbal products as medicine for various ailments.