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Haad issues new guidelines on health care

Policy manuals directed at improving costs and quality of services

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A set of policy manuals was released for the first time by the Health Authority–Abu Dhabi (Haad) today in a bid to improve overall performance and outcomes of health care delivery in the Emirate while promoting independence of health care providers and affordable costs for patients.

The guidlines define the roles and responsibilities of the regulator, Haad, public and private service providers (such as hospitals and clinics), medical professionals and insurance companies called payers.

The manuals also define the four parties’ interactions under standards which establish both acceptable minimum and aspirational levels of practice.

All healthcare providers, professionals and payers are expected to understand, implement and be in full compliance with the requirements mandated by the four policy manuals and supporting standards available on the Haad website. 

Dr Oliver Harrison, Director of Strategy and Policy at Haad, said: “We have undertaken a comprehensive review of all federal and emirate-based health laws and have simplified the health regulations for the emirate into two levels: policies and standards. The health regulations collectively translate federal UAE and Abu Dhabi laws into a simple, practical set of tools to help drive compliance and improve quality and cost-effectiveness across the system.

“In developing the health regulations, we took a systems approach and mapped out the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of the actors in the sector: providers, payers and the regulator Haad.”

Some of these standards aim for all those in the emirate of Abu Dhabi to have access to health care and freedom to choose their provider and for health care providers to be independent and predominantly private.

Other priorities set to be achieved by 2014 include filling gaps in capacity and insurance coverage and offering pay-for-quality services.

Meanwhile, those employed by health care providers are to be given professional hazard insurance by their employers.

The regulatory requirements will be phased in over a 12-month period starting today.

According to Dr Oliver, residents are to get high-quality medical care at viable prices through the application of the regulations throughout 2013.

According to the statement, transparency and the stability of regulations ensure a stable environment for investments and expectations regulatory requirements and performance which will minimise the cost of change and limit cost impact for the sector (public or private).

Dr Wafa Al Adhami, Manager of Policy and Research department at Haad, said: “Haad will monitor the effectiveness of the policy manuals in driving compliance, quality and cost-effectiveness and will make changes progressively where these are required. An evaluation of implementation of the policy manuals will be undertaken by Haad six months from the date of their publication, with the view to review, improve and strengthen, where necessary, their scope, effectiveness and enforcement.”