Gulf News Roundup Aug 29 2017

Gulf News Roundup Aug 29 2017

29th Aug 2017

Abu Dhabi Set for a new Healthcare Index


Residents in Abu Dhabi will soon be able to choose their healthcare provider based on a range of quality indicators, with the Emirates’ health authority introducing a new system aimed at driving up standards in early 2018.


Healthcare facilities throughout the Emirate have already been ranked on  their performance by the Jawda-Abu Dhabi Healthcare Quality Index for more than two years, however the system will now provide more in-depth data, measured in ‘real time’ allowing any issues that occur to be acted upon at an early stage.


A range of indicators are now able to be used, ranging from patient waiting times to the prevalence of surgical site infections in order to determine where a facilities’ weakness lies.


Director general of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Dr Maha Barakat outlined the aims of the new scheme. She said: “In a real-time system, we could take disciplinary action as soon as a trend is noticed, thus minimising instances of patient harm.”


“Once we publish the rankings, top quality hospitals will be incentivised by bigger patient volumes and a stronger bargaining position with insurance providers, whilst lower-performing facilities will need to do better or face reduced remuneration.”


MERS Worry for Pilgrims


On the eve of the Hajj five new cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sparking concerns about the potential for a mass outbreak during the annual pilgrimage.


Middle East respiratory syndrome is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified as a major issue in Saudi Arabia over five years ago. It is believed to be transported by camels, however the exact science behind this factor still remains unknown. This also means that it is untreatable, with around 36% of patients suffering from the condition dying as a result of it.


Typically symptoms can range from a simple fever like cough, to shortness of breath and diarrhoea, whilst in patients with long term health conditions such as Cancer or Diabetes the side effects can be far more debilitating.


During the Hajj as many as two million Muslims are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia and journey to Mecca, with just one MERS positive patient potentially leading to a much larger outbreak.


The 2017 Hajj is scheduled to take place between August 30th and September 4th.


Kuwait Introduces Expat Fees


Kuwait has announced that it will introduce a new range of fees for expats and visitors to the country in October, with these fees covering a range of services that were previously available free of charge.


From October 1st patients will now be charged for natural child delivery, open heart surgery, nuclear medicine, radiology tests, laboratory tests and artificial limbs.


The cost of being admitting to a general ward will now sit at 10KD (£25) a day, whilst this rises to 30KD (£76) for intensive care wards. Private rooms will now be charged at a fee of 50KD (£128) a day, with this figure fluctuating further in certain hospitals.


Procedure costs have now also been revealed. The delivery of a child will cost 50KD, with a flat rate of 10KD per visit to the centre. Nuclear medicine tests will range between 40KD (£102) and 500KD (£1280), whilst radiology will cost up to 120KD (£307) per scan.


Expat workers make up more than 70% of Kuwait’s population, with the new fees designed in an attempt to redress this imbalance, whilst retaining the country’s high level of healthcare support. Mandatory health insurance schemes have also been suggested by some Government officials, however they are unlikely to be necessary if the current fees model is successful.




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