Health insurance policy must be for all: NCC

ABU DHABI — The National Consultative Council (NCC) has affirmed that the new basic health insurance policy should be available to all nationals and residents without discrimination of income or employer.

By Atef Hanafi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 2 May 2006, 11:06 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:35 PM

In another major decision, the NCC has called for a comprehensive review of public and private medical and pharmacological services. The review will also aim at suggesting measures to break the monopoly in drug imports and reducing drugs prices.

The NCC's Committee for Health, Labour and Social Affairs, announced this yesterday during a session chaired by the House Speaker Abdullah Al Masoud. It was also pointed out that some private medicinal drugs suppliers are selling drugs at prices much higher than regional or international levels.

The Committee underlined the need for classifying medical hospitals and centres according to clear-cut transparent standards and fixing prices for medical and treatment services in private hospitals.

The Committee told the house that some charges of health services in private hospitals don't really measure up to the standards of services they offer which is why many patients don't even approach these facilities. "The General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (GAHS) should step in to put an end to monopoly of import of drugs — a move that will push prices down," according to the committee.

The basic Dh600 health insurance policy under the partnership agreement between the National Health Insurance Company (Daman) and the German Munich Re Group is not enough because the group specialises in re-insurance and not direct insurance to cover risks.

NCC Member Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Dhahiri stressed the need for an integrated public-private medical partnership to open the door for private companies to play a key role in the health sector.

Member Mohammed Rashid Al Nasseri raised the issue of herbal treatment centres and urged GAHS to reconsider licences for these facilities. He also called for encouraging and supporting the private health sector through provision of land for building their facilities.

Speaking about drugs monopoly, Sultan bin Ghanoum Al Hamili said, "It is illogical that nationals and residents buy drugs at prices ten times higher than those in international markets."

Another member, Ghaith bin Hamil Al Ghaith, emphasised the need for an effective mechanism of setting public appointments so as to avoid crowding at government hospitals. He added that the new health insurance system would create an even bigger rush. "Special health centres should be dedicated for holders of the mandatory insurance policy," he added, affirming that medical and curative services to nationals should not be affected.

The house also discussed a report on services provided to the elderly and people with special needs. The Committee called for issuing a local legislation for taking care of these groups and ensuring their rights to education, training, work, and housing and access to other public services by rights of citizenship.

The Committee suggested allocation of job quotas for people with special needs in local departments. Member Mohammed bin Rashid Al Dhahiri said the specialised hospital for this group should be in a downtown area and not in Mafraq.

Member Ateq bin Hamil Al Ghaith suggested that maternity hospitals should inform the Zayed Higher Foundation for Welfare of People with Special Needs and Minors about deliveries of handicapped babies to ensure better care for them.

More news from