More than 4 million people in Dubai are now covered by health insurance, as the introduction of mandatory cover for everyone in the area looks to have been an early success.
The figures, which were published by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) this week, show that an impressive 98% of the Emirates’ population are now covered by insurance - a result that is testament to the way in which the scheme was publicised and rolled out throughout the Emirate.
Mandatory health insurance was first introduced as early as three years ago, with the scheme originally meant to cover everyone in the country by June 2016. After being rolled out in stages starting with the largest companies an extension was granted in the summer until the end of the year to cover the 12% of people who weren’t insured by their employers.
From the 1st of January fines will start being issued to employers who haven’t covered their employees - with these starting at Dh500 per employee per month. Given that the cost of the basic healthcare package is just Dh550 a year it is unsurprising that such a high percentage of the population are already covered.
Dubai is leading the way when it comes to the introduction of mandatory health insurance for everyone in the state. Currently Saudi Arabia is also finalising its introduction for private sector workers, whilst in Bahrain and Oman legislation is being finalised prior to its introduction in the coming years.
Meanwhile the DHA has also launched a further development, with the creation of an occupational health clinic exclusively for its employees. The clinic, which is at Nad Al Hamar Primary Healthcare Centre, will initially offer facilities for 1467 employees, with the second phase - which is currently in the development stage - being available for the 11,215 people currently employed by the Emirates’ Health Authority.
Across the Gulf region healthcare is changing as countries continue to strive for higher standards of health in the face of rapidly growing and ageing populations.
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