His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai Health Authority visited today the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) stand during his tour of the Arab Health Congress which is being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan was greeted by His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority and DHA members.
Al Maidoor presented an overview of the latest services provided by the health authority and highlighted several updates in the regulatory system, which will further provide an impetus to the health sector.
At the forefront of this, is the mandatory health insurance system for the emirate of Dubai. Al Maidoor mentioned that the mandate has been branded and will be referred to as ISAHD which stands for Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai and also means happiness in Arabic.
.He said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the DHA has branded the name of the health insurance system to mean happiness, this stems from HH’s words that the primary job of the government sector is to provide happiness to the people of Dubai.
Health insurance is a form of security and our aim is to ensure everyone in the emirate has access to essential healthcare in case they need it. The health insurance system will empower patients by providing them with the right to choose their health provider within the private or public sector.
The roll out will take place in phases and every health insurance company that wants to provide health insurance will have to procure a health insurance permit from the DHA to be eligible to provide health insurance services.
The DHA discussed both the roll out process and the procedure for procuring a health insurance permit, which is mandatory for all those companies that want to provide health insurance services in Dubai.
Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding at the DHA said: “Presently 50 companies have registered with us and we are evaluating them. To ensure we have quality health insurance players on board, this is an essential step and this is a procedure that is followed across several countries.
” Insurance companies interested in providing the essential health benefits(EHB) package to resident employees with salaries below AED 4,000 will have to undergo further qualifying criteria to ascertain their ability to provide an insurance package at an affordable rate. The premium for this package will range between AED 500-700 per person per year.”
Al Yousuf said by the end of February, we will publish the final list of approved healthcare companies. Once the list of published, the first phase of the roll out will begin.
In terms of the roll-out, Al Yousuf said: ” Companies with 1000 or more employees will have to cover their staff before the end of October 2014. Companies with 100 to 999 employees will have until the end of July 2015 and companies below 100 employees have until end of June 2016 to cover their employees. All spouses, dependents and domestic workers will also have to be covered by June 2016. They can start providing cover earlier, however, these dates are deadlines they must meet.”
He said the process of obtaining a health insurance permit began in October this year and will be completed by January 2014. The DHA will announce a list of the companies that have obtained these permits.
Those who already have the permit will start providing insurance within the next few weeks. Al Yousuf said: “Over the next two years, we will begin to see the immediate benefits of the mandatory health insurance scheme as and when its phased roll out takes place.”