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4.6m people have health insurance in Dubai.

Summary: The DHA, as part of its strategy in 2017-18, will be focusing on launching more initiatives like the Dahab premium service to ensure high level of healthcare in Dubai.

Ahmed Shaaban

The VAT will have zero effect on all the health insurance categories being provided by accredited companies in the emirate. (Supplied photo)

Over 4.6 million people in Dubai have different types of health insurance cover and very few are uninsured, according to an expert.

Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of health funding at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), told Khaleej Times that Dubai is on the right track in terms of being the best in health care. "The DHA is concerned to be proactive rather than reactive - discover ailment and get required protection before it occurs rather than waiting for one to go ill, and then start treating them. And this can be done by early screening and detection of diseases."

Recently, the DHA announced that three types of cancers will now be covered by the basic benefit plan under the mandatory health insurance scheme.

"All insured residents on Dubai visa are now eligible for screening and treatment of breast, colorectal and cervical cancer under the Basmah 'Smile' initiative," he said while speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the new 'Dahab' or 'Gold' premium insurance service of Aafiya Insurance Company.

The DHA, as part of its strategy in 2017-18, will be focusing on launching more initiatives like the Dahab premium service to ensure high level of health care in Dubai, he added.

"This is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the emirate to be the best in health services."

Dr Al Yousuf said that it is time for some to have their health insurance renewed. "Everyone should be careful that failing to have their health insurance renewed will be liable to fine."

He underlined that VAT will have zero effect on all the health insurance categories being provided by the accredited companies in the emirate. "This includes the basic benefit coverage package of Dh550 which shall remain unchanged."

Dr Al Yousef said they always urge insurance companies to be innovative and come up with proactive services. "Dahab is a good initiative in this direction," he said, noting that the "whole range of care that people would like to get is available in Dubai".

Ali Zaidi, general manager of Aafiya, told Khaleej Times that the value-added services, including screening and treatment of three types of cancer, will be provided to customers at the local and international levels. "Dahab includes a range of value-added benefits from healthcare centres, nutritionists and fitness centres," he pointed.

He said the bar-coded Dahab cards bring wellness and privilege benefits to members' health card. "It's an approach to healthcare that emphasises on preventing illness and prolonging life as opposed to treating diseases; and lifestyle that encourages wellbeing and positivity."

He said the Dahab card offers instant registration and activation services, fast transaction approvals, smooth payment, apart from priority access to Dahab network provider, suggestion and feedback from members.

Ahmed Shaaban Originally from Egypt, I have been in Dubai since December 2005. Before coming here, I worked as an English language instructor, chief En/Ar translator, proofreader, reporter in Egypt and Qatar. I have also worked as a reporter, correspondent and simultaneous translator with two satellite channels in Dubai. I have a masters degree in media, Cairo University, 2014, a bachelor degree in English language and translation, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 1996, and three post-graduate diplomas in English language and Instruction. With over 19 years of experience in translation, interpretation, EFL instruction, and reporting. I am interested in technology, aviation, politics, as well as community, parliament and defence issues. I enjoy reading, writing, exercising, and surfing the web.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Dec 21, 2017
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