Dr Haider Al Yousef, director of health funding, Dubai Health Authority Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/XPRESS

Dubai: Emergency insurance for all visitors, extension of residents’ essential basic packages to cover specific programmes in the treatment of various cancers, newborn screenings and stringent regulation of premiums will soon come into effect in Dubai, a top official of Dubai Health Authority said on Monday.

Speaking to XPRESS on the sidelines of the Mediclinic Healthcare Management Conference in the city on October 16, Dr Haider Al Yousuf, director of health funding at DHA, said, “All of this already exists to a certain extent. But in 2018, they will be implemented on a larger scale. While emergency coverage will be applicable to all visitors, essential basic packages for residents will also cover structured programmes in the treatment of cervical, colorectal and breast cancers, besides screenings of newborns and milestone’s in a child’s development.”

 Dubai is striving to have the world's best healthcare system.” ”

 - Dr Haider Al Yousef, Dubai Health Authority


He said the price of the packages would not be impacted as much as the expansion of their coverage.

Best healthcare system

Earlier making a presentation on the future of healthcare in Dubai, he said, Dubai is aiming to have the “best healthcare system in the world” with the Government ready to support any innovation that would make this possible.

He said the number of people insured in Dubai had gone up from from 1.1 million in 2013 to 4.6 million after the roll out of mandatory health insurance was completed in 2017. The premiums too have remained stable during the four year period, he added.

Dr Yousef also took the packed audiences through the various technological innovations of DHA from e-claimlinks and Ejada to Saada, telemedicine and smart screening.

Innovative society

David Hadley, CEO, Mediclinic Middle East, said, “It is wonderful to be part of this innovative society being created by the vision of the Rulers in the UAE. We are in a transformational phase in healthcare where artificial intelligence, robotics, mobile health, telemedicine, nano technology etc are becoming a common part of the system.”

 We are in a transformational phase in healthcare.”

 - David Hadley, Mediclinic Middle East


He said, “We at Mediclinic have invested a lot of money in the new electronic health record system to cover all our facilities in the UAE.”

Dr Amer Sharif, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, Education Sector, spoke on the importance of public-private partnership of Mohammed Bin Rashid University with Mediclinic on the organ transplant programme with the first breakthrough happening in June 2016 when a 29-year-old Emirati woman received a kidney given by a donor in Saudi Arabia.

Jad Bitar, partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, also spoke on the UAE’s outlook for healthcare amidst global trends.