x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Companies bid to run Dubai healthcare system

More than 20 companies around the world have expressed interest in managing Dubai's new healthcare system.

DUBAI // More than 20 companies around the world have expressed interest in managing Dubai's new healthcare system, the emirate's health agency said. "We are very pleased with this level of interest and support," said Qadhi al Murooshid, director general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The DHA in June announced its plan for comprehensive healthcare coverage for everyone in Dubai. Three health-management companies will be chosen. Starting next year, they will provide registered health clinics with administrative support and negotiate arrangements with hospitals and specialist clinics.

In early 2009, employers and sponsors will begin paying a set amount of money to the management companies for each worker. The workers must register with health clinics, which will be paid by the management companies. "Change is not always an easy option but inevitably it creates many new opportunities," Mr Murooshid said. "While our focus will always be the health of the patient and the role of the medical community in determining the best care for them, business will have an equally important part to play."

Meanwhile, staff from the DHA will visit about 600 primary health clinics over the next three months to explain the new system, which encourages people to develop relationships with family doctors, rather than visit hospitals or a number of different doctors with minor ailments. Laila al Jassmi, the director responsible for the establishing the health-funding system, said the DHA is preparing for a "major engagement programme" with everyone involved in the system.

"We fully appreciate the need for everyone to understand how the new system will work," she said. "In addition to one-to-one briefings we will shortly be hosting a series of road shows for the wider medical and business communities." munderwood@thenational.ae