Much has been changing in Dubai healthcare in the past year. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are now available across the DHA network of health facilities to capture and analyze healthcare data in real-time; in addition, most recently, delivery of care was improved through IT-enabled systems using Telehealth that provides immediate access to consultation with specialists (a RoboDoc initiative) for critical patients. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is also set to unveil new initiatives for Cancer (cervical, colorectal and breast) and Hepatitis C (a condition that causes inflammation and infection of the liver); patients can be treated for free at Dubai Hospitals where there will be no sub limit from 2019, says Saleh Al Hashemi, Dubai Health Authority adviser.
“A sum of Dh19 will be deducted per health insurance policy from January and pooled into DHA’s trust account to help cover the costs of cancer treatment for Low Salary Band (LSB) workers. Under the Basmah initiative, this fund pool will be used for patients with cervical, colorectal and breast cancer, who have exceeded the sum insured for treatment of cancer,” said Saleh Al Hashemi in an interview with Khaleej Times.
Not only screening but also treatment of breast, colorectal and cervical cancer will be part of the basic package of all expats with an Essential Benefit Plan (EBP) in the Dubai Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme from January 2019 thereby transforming patient care.
Not only Emirati nationals but also international visitants entering the country have now mechanisms in place to access DHA hospitals and health centres too. The program will especially help those with limited coverage while ensuring that the cost is affordable, states Saleh Al Hashemi adding that the EBP package can be enhanced to allow the insurer a flexible payment method for reimbursement on any medical expenses incurred due to hospitalization, diagnosis, and pre- and post-hospitalization treatments.
Under the Dubai health Insurance scheme, companies that provide the EBP must be committed to protecting members of society by providing them with quality healthcare screening services, said Dr Haidar Al Yousef, director of health funding at DHA.
Mandatory health insurance is covered by Law No. 11 of 2013, regarding Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai, and was meant for the emirate residents, including free zones. The essential benefits plan (a coverage that includes emergencies, surgeries, medical tests, medication, outpatient and inpatient treatments and maternity) ensures all individuals (nationals, residents and visitors) are receiving care as needed at medical facilities that are registered insurance providers.
Currently there are 12 companies approved for EBP by DHA with 49 insurance companies licensed by DHA to provide insurance. A whopping 99% of the population is currently covered: 4.7 million including expatriates and Emiratis.