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Abu Dhabi private clinics report staff layoffs

Abu Dhabi private clinics report staff layoffs

Changes forcing Emiratis to pay for part of their key are impacting local private hospitals

New rules forcing Emiratis to pay 20 per cent of their healthcare costs are forcing private companies to lay off staff, according to reports.

The new scheme that took effect on July 1 means Emiratis suffering from long-term illnesses must pay towards treatment unless they are at a government hospital.

The National cited Cambridge Medical And Rehabilitation Centre CEO Dr Howard Podolsky as saying the company had laid off 30 staff following the changes, which have so far seen more than 100 of its long-term Emirati patients unable to pay.

National health insurance company Daman warned that contracts with private operators would be cancelled if they did not collect the fee, according to the publication.

However, private institutions have deemed it unethical to discharge critically ill patients who are unable to pay for treatment.

“If we take the worst-case scenario being that hundreds of patients can’t pay, then I fear there maybe further layoffs,” Podolsky was quoted as saying.

He said the firm was hoping the government would make patients requiring long-term care exempt from the new rules.

Clancey Francisco Po, CEO of Burjeel Hospital, also said his company was hoping for exemptions in certain areas including dialysis, long-term care, home care and even IVF.

Burjeel may have to consider its plans for a billion-dollar hospital in Mohammed bin Zayed City following the changes, he said.

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