Healthcare costs are on the rise Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Healthcare costs in the UAE rose by 9.9 per cent in 2017 compared to Hong Kong, where costs rose by a fifth, according to a study by Willis Towers Watson. The rise is 20 per cent higher than in Singapore, which is similar in size to the UAE and also depends heavility on expat workers.

“Medical costs in the UAE are clearly rising at an unsustainable rate — if medical inflation continues on its current trajectory the cost of providing medical insurance benefits will become higher than payroll,” said Simon Stirzaker, Regional Leader, Health and Benefits, Al Futtaim Willis in a statement.

“A key part of the problem is that the consumers of health care services — workers who are insured — tend to be disconnected from the actual cost of the services they are using. The UAE has made significant and admirable progress in the health care sector, particularly in facilitating access to quality health care for its residents.

“The challenge for the future is to build on these achievements whilst controlling costs.”

The survey found out that nearly 50 per cent of the respondents felt having medical insurance is important, while only 19 per cent feel that life insurance is vital. Around 65 per cent of respondents kept 1-5 per cent of their salary aside for medical insurance.