Clinic busted for ‘free offer’ that caused massive jam in Dubai

By Sheena Amos

Crowds clambering for the 'free' gifts

DUBAI 26 March 2019: A dental clinic operating in Dubai has been fined for posting ads on Instagram that violated ethics and conduct of the medical profession, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced.

The free offer of TVs and phones at the opening of a new clinic resulted in a huge turnout and caused a traffic jam in the area.

DHA has also been asked to take action against the clinic and social media influencers, who promoted the offer, may also be held liable.

The ministry said its inspection teams, who monitor online ads during weekdays and public holidays, detected a video posted on a dental clinic Instagram account, inviting the public to come along and get a chance to win mobile phones and TVs, in bid to attract as many customers as possible.

Reacting swiftly, the ministry informed the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), which is in charge of licensing healthcare facilities in Dubai, to take necessary action and fined the clinic for violating the applicable health advertising systems.

The ministry noted the clinic’s ad was not duly licensed and was in breach of Federal Law on medical liability.

To get as much followers as possible especially young people, the clinic’s owner has promoted his facility through social media influencers. Accordingly, the ministry informed the Department of Economic Development-Dubai, which is responsible for licensing social media influencers, to take necessary actions.

Dr. Hessa Mubarak, Director of the Department of Health Empowerment and Compliance added that the clinic owner announced attractive offers and gifts on the occasion of opening a new branch to draw in as many people as possible through social media. This has led to huge turnout, which resulted in the service providers losing control on managing the entire event.

Seeking financial gains and attracting as many people as possible, some people may hire social media influencers to post video clips of themselves praising and highlighting the attractive features of a product or service without any censorship of controls.

Individual Case

She further said that what has happened is no more an individual case for which necessary actions have been taken and competent authorities were informed to ensure the non-recurrence of such violations.

The ministry in this respects calls on the public to be extremely cautious when seeing ads featuring unusually attractive offers and prizes, which some may use to achieve fame and quick profit at the expense of efficiency and quality of health services.

Dubai Gazette