UAE Healthcare & Insurance Information
The medical facilities in the UAE are of a very high standard, reflecting the country's rapid development over recent years. A recent law enacted in the UAE requires all non-residents to acquire health insurance. Those visiting the UAE must pay all medical costs incurred while in the country before they are allowed to leave.
Citizens of the UAE are provided healthcare by the government's Federal Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health requires all citizens to obtain a health card. As of 2001, government medical facilities no longer provide free medications to expatriates, instead, expatriates must obtain medications from private pharmacies. Also announced in 2001, the government announced that expatriate workers and visitors without health cards must pay the full costs of medical treatment received in the UAE. These efforts signaled a shift towards greater private sector involvement in the UAE healthcare system.
All expatriates entering the UAE are now required to have medical insurance or purchase a health card in order to receive treatment at UAE medical facilities. Without the health card expatriates cannot receive a work permit for the UAE. Previously, all those living in the UAE or visiting the UAE were afforded free medical care, or at least heavily subsidized care. Now, those living in, or visiting the UAE must pay the total cost for any medical treatment and any related fees related to that treatment. Residents and visitors who haven't obtained medical insurance or a health card are now ordered to pay full price for all the treatments including surgical equipment and hospital bed fees.
In recent years, the UAE government has invested heavily in the healthcare network. The number of government operated hospitals has grown to 30. Many hospitals have arranged direct billing networks with major international insurance companies.
The UAE has planned to increase the hospital bed capacity two-fold during the next 10 years. At the same time, the government has encouraged the growth of a parallel private health sector as well. As the UAE government subsidizes more the 80% of the cost of healthcare, the need to support privatization initiatives has become abundantly clear.
According to recent media reports, the UAE Minister of Health has announced the beginning next year all expatriates living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates will be provided health insurance coverage. This coverage, however, will not meet the needs of expatriates accustomed to western standards of treatment. The new health insurance coverage offered by the UAE will also demand the payment of a premium.
An international medical insurance plan is the best way to ensure that you receive the most appropriate level of medical care while overseas. Your medical insurance plan will accompany you wherever you may travel, and it will even return with you to your home country. Contact International Health Insurance today to speak with an advisor about your international medical insurance plan.