UAE: Mentally ill patients discontinue treatment due to lack of insurance, FNC says

Difficult to diagnose mental disorders among children due to the lack of psychiatric clinics


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 8:31 PM

Many patients suffering from mental health issues do not complete their treatment due to the lack of health insurance coverage.

According to the Federal National Council (FNC) report, the lack of insurance coverage also leads patients and their families to bear the high cost of treatment.

Naema Abdullah Al Sharhan, the second deputy speaker of the FNC and Chairperson of the FNC Committee on Health and Environmental Affairs, revealed the details of the report. It also highlighted the difficulty in diagnosing mental disorders among children due to the lack of psychiatric clinics.

The final parliamentary report on the topic, "The Ministry of Health and Prevention's policy on promoting mental health in the UAE", was prepared by the Health and Environmental Affairs committee.

Al Sharhan said in the report that the committee has discussed the issue of mental health in three main aspects, including the ministry's policy and strategic plans for developing policies and legislation on mental health.

And the ministry's role in promoting and expanding the scope of comprehensive and integrated mental health services and promoting the prevention of mental disorders for members of society.

The committee also focused on the ministry's role in cooperating with the concerned authorities to implement the policy of promoting mental health and the services provided.

"The committee held 13 meetings to discuss and study the issue of mental health. During the meeting, it met representatives of the governmental and local health sectors to learn about the services provided in the field of mental health, the challenges they face in this regard, and mechanisms for coordination and cooperation with the health authorities concerned in providing mental health services," said Al Sharhan.

She said the committee also organised a virtual panel discussion entitled: "Promoting Mental Health in the UAE", to identify the biggest challenges faced in the field of mental health promotion, whether the kind of services provided to psychiatric patients or problems faced by mental health workers, in addition to knowing the extent of community awareness of these services.


"Five field visits were made to government hospitals to learn about the quality of services provided in the field of mental health and the level of health care provided to patients in terms of treatment and rehabilitation," said Al Sharhan.

"The committee also conducted a field visit to hospitals affiliated with local authorities to see their experience. Members of the committee also met with representatives of the Ministry of Health and Prevention to answer the committee's inquiries on the issue of promoting mental health."

According to Al Sharhan, the committee identified basic observations, which were solidified into parliamentary recommendations adopted by the council and were directed to the government to deal with them.

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