The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced the findings of the first health accounts report for the Emirate at a press conference held at the Arab Health Congress.
His Excellency Eng. Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA announced the release of first report of the health expenditure for the Emirate of Dubai which supports decision-making through evidence-based insights and policy implications.
“ At a time when the financing of Dubai’s health system is undergoing major developments — based on the recent Health Insurance Law —Dubai Health Authority (DHA) issued its first Health Accounts of the Emirate for the year 2012 titled “A baseline for a new era,” said Al Maidoor at the press conference.
He stressed that the decision to implement the Health Accounts System of Dubai (HASD) was based on three pillars: Firstly, HASD allows measuring the financial dimensions of the health care system in the public and private sectors, which shows the efficiency of the allocation of the health funds. Secondly, HASD enables monitoring changes in the distribution of the available financial resources, comparing Dubai to other regional and international health systems. These changes give the Government and the investors the information necessary to measure the investments size. Thirdly, HASD allows the support and implementation of the health insurance system through monitoring the health spending.
The Director General highlighted the main findings of the report. The total health spending for 2012 was 10 billion AED- 8.5 billion AED was spent on services provided in Dubai. The results also show that the distribution of these amounts was 68:32 among service providers in the public and private sectors, respectively, which conforms with the DHA’s strategic goal of keeping private/ public healthcare share at 70:30 ratio.
It is clear from these results that the Mandatory Health Insurance Law issued by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is essential to ensure access to health services for the people of Dubai. The Law mandates the diversifying sources of funds to involve all parties, in order to ensure a sustainable health system. He also called on all concerned parties to make use of the results contained in the report to support the decision-making based on evidence.
Dr. Haidar Saeed Al-Yousuf, Director of Health Funding Department, mentioned that DHA will publish HASD results periodically, to support the development of healthcare in Dubai.
He thanked all the concerned parties who contributed to the publishing of this report and said: “More 300 representatives from 100 organizations provided us with data. This includes the Ministry of Health, Dubai Department of Finance and Dubai Statistics Center, and the private sector organizations including health insurance companies, hospitals and clinics, and the pharmaceutical companies”.
The technical team then analyzed and tabulated the collected data, based on the International classification System of the World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Statistical Office of the European Union.
Dr. Haidar noted that DHA will hold a workshop to disseminate the results and details of the report, in order to raise awareness of these financial results and ways to use them in planning the future investments for the health sector.
He concluded by making a link between the importance of the findings of the report and the new era of health financing in the Emirate through the Mandatory Health Insurance scheme. “HASD measures the dimension of health spending before the scheme as a baseline. These indicators will be used then to monitor changes overtime, with each wave of beneficiaries joining the health insurance, till universal coverage in 2016. Then, DHA will compare the situation post the implementation against the desired results, and will take the necessary measures in case of any deviation from these planned stages”, he said.
Altijani Hussin – Health Economics Consultant at the DHA highlighted that the use of the international classifications of health accounts helped DHA to answer five key questions to the health sector:
Where did the health funds come from?
The results show that the 10 billion spent on health was funded by the Government (32%), the private sector (45%), and by the families and individuals (22%).
Which institutions managed the health funds?
The report shows that the financing of the health sector in 2012 was sporadic and isolated, which might cause duplication in services and overlapping of responsibilities. However, with the Mandatory Health Insurance Law, we expect this isolation to fade, and to be replaced by a system that relies on the diversity of sources of health funds, which allows the efficient use of these funds.
Where healthcare funding went (which providers)? The findings suggest that hospitals provided health services in that valued 48% of these amounts compared to 22% for clinics and dispensaries, 12% of pharmacies and diagnostic services, and 15% for services outside the Emirate.
What services were purchased by the health funds? The report’s findings show that the 10 billion was spent on health care included 74% for curative care, 20 per cent towards medicines and medical equipment and 6% for preventive services.
Which population groups benefited from the health funds? The demographic distribution of Dubai is unique, which is based on the majority of the residents being between the age of twenty and sixty years-old. This population group is healthy, and does not require expensive care. It was reflected in the results of the report that the proportion of the male population of 76%, but benefited from 53% of the total health expenditure. In contrast, the ratio of children under five years-old and the elderly (65+) were 6% of the population, while they benefited from 18% of total health spending.
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