The concept of repeat prescriptions is unknown here, so until recently I've had to visit the doctor every month. Until I had a bit of a rant and the doc said I could have a three-month script. Result!!!
I had to visit the clinic on another matter the other day, and really did not have time to wait for an hour in a crowded waiting room. So I phoned for an appointment. I turned up ten minutes ahead of time, had my weight, temp and beep checked, and was seen by the doctor within ten minutes. Much to the chagrin of one guy in the waiting room who was muttering loudly about bloody English getting preferential treatment. (He was doing this on Arabic so I couldn't answer back).
Anyhoo, the doctors are good and thorough, the hospitals don't have massive long waiting lists, and the cost is reasonable.
What happens is you pay about Dhs 300 a year for a health card. This entitles you to discounted rates on doctor visits (Dhs 40 per visit as opposed to Dhs 100 if you don't have a health card), and free hospital in-patient treatment.
They recently introduced charges for tests, which is a total bummer if you need an MRI scan - that costs Dhs 400!
And they are talking about replacing the health card system with an insurance-based one. Nobody seems to know how that's supposed to work yet.