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Emiratis happy with Saada health insurance

Emiratis happy with Saada health insurance

The new insurance programme aims to register 130,000 UAE nationals by year end

By Mustafa Al Zarooni/city Editor

Published: Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:15 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:10 PM

Photo courtesy: Corbisimages

Dubai - Emiratis have welcomed the new health insurance scheme rolled out for them by the Dubai government.

Many UAE nationals, who have registered for the “Saada” or Happiness scheme, expressed their happiness about the insurance coverage that they can now easily receive for medical services at outpatient clinics and private hospitals.

They said the applicants can get themselves registered in less than two minutes online, incorporate the information in the Emirates ID so they can get free medical treatment in private hospitals, costing up to Dh500,000 per person yearly. 

The Dubai Health Authority has designed the scheme to help the citizens in fixing appointments with doctors online, as well as noting their personal health information.

The programme was launched recently by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the headquarters of Dubai Health Authority, to align with the smart government.

Saada Programme is targeting 130,000 citizens in the emirate of Dubai by the end of the year, and is the first of its kind for which their national ID is used for registration.

A number of Emiratis, who Khaleej Times accompanied at the outpatient health centres, expressed their delight for the improvement of the outpatient clinics in the emirate, ending the long queues of applicants swarming the health centres to get their names registered as well as the suffering of the  elderly.

They said the programme had brought in a spectacularly smart change in the health system.

The initiative has contributed to provide the health insurance service to — other than office employees — the elderly, the retired people and those who work in private sector.

This insurance system supersedes in terms of benefits offered by the work place, which was explained by employees in private sector, who said they were suffering from the poor quality of their credit cards.

The programme gives the subscribers the opportunity to benefit from the services offered by private hospitals and clinics.

How to avail the service

The services are offered through a chain of rules, initiatives, and smart systems. Other means, through which the services are obtained, include mechanisms for measuring the indicator of the health performance, customers satisfaction, besides the operational efficiency of the parties concerned in the insurance system and compare them with the results.

The health insurance law is implemented in Dubai to achieve the sustainable recuperation, therapeutic services as well as full healthcare.  It also aims at boosting the investment climate in medical sector, besides the flexibility in responding to the requirements of the private sector, and secures the health service for each and every Emirati and expatriate.

The programme focuses on the mandatory prevention and early check up on all subscribers. The beneficiary can get many medical services after sharing of only 10 per cent of the charges. This alleviates the burden of the Emirati patient, in terms of money, and gives him a wider scope for medical treatment and get distinctive and quick services.

Among world top 20

Studies showed that the UAE’s health sector has consolidated its position as one of the world’s Top 20 in terms of spending per capita. The average spending of Dh4,420 per person per year is commendably high by international standards, and it is envisaged that this will set off a chain reaction that yields ripple benefits for the local health fraternity. And after the launch of Saada health programme, UAE may be placed among the top ten countries globally.

Dubai Government is embarking on an expansive plan to strengthen the public health sector along with providing all the facilities and services to boost health tourism.

Statistics showed that as many as 376 health establishment were licensed last year, of which eight hospitals, nine specialised centres, 121 pharmacies, 196 outpatient clinics and other 42 establishments. This brings the total number of health establishments to 2,775. More than 30,000 professionals work in these hospitals.

Future prospects

Dubai targets 500,000 patients and those who seek recuperation until 2020. This will boost the economy by generating revenues at four folds from this segment alone.

The Dubai Health Authority expected the tourist health revenues will rise by 15 per cent (Dh1.1 billion) or $299 million. In 2016 from Dh652 million( $177.5 million). The figure will leapfrog to Dh2.6 billion by 2020. -malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com

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