Abu Dhabi: Health insurance companies are struggling to provide a sustainable health care environment due to various challenges.

Some of which include: financing new providers, keeping up with medical services among patients, and providing services to the growing number of obese and diabetic population, under 20 and above 65.

During his speech at the World Health Care Congress (WHCC), Dr Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer at the National Health Insurance Company (Daman) explained that the biggest challenge facing all 35 health insurance companies across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is during card renewals.

"Companies, especially after the crisis, are cutting down on budget, and that affects the number of cards they renew and the kind of the health insurance policy they choose for their employees. That's why we are pushing for prevention programmes, which need to be a big part of the government's vision," said Bitzer.

Lifestyle habits

The health insurance expert also explained that society needs to focus on lifestyle habits a bit more. "I run or cycle every morning and hardly see any Emiratis playing sports. When I look around in public areas, I only see housemaids watching over crying children who they shut-up through food, by giving them chips or sweets."

Both Bitzer and Dr Helmut M. Schuhsler, Managing Partner at TVM Capital from Germany, spoke about the importance of adjusting to local needs.