The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced that it will implement a price regulation model for all health services offered by the private sector by 2015.
The new regulations will cap the price increase for health services provided by the private sector at 4.22 per cent, in line with the published rate of inflation by the Dubai Statistics Centre, the authority said in a statement.
As per the latest rules, a separate proposal is required for every service a health entity proposes to increase the fee for.
“This model essentially aims to regulate price increases of health services in the private sector,” said Essa Al Maidoor, director-general of the DHA.
“The price increase will be regulated in a calculated and transparent way so that it facilitates a sustainable health system.”
He added that the regulation will be applicable to all polyclinics, clinics and hospitals in Dubai and services provided to Dubai insurance policies.
“The aim of the price regulation model is to ensure balance between allowing price increases and protecting patient’s interest,” said Al Maidoor.
The DHA also said that all firms looking to increase prices should apply to the authority by the end of November.
“The price increase is applicable for 12 months and healthcare entities will not be able to increase prices for a year. This ensures sustainability, is fair towards providers and at the same time protects patient rights,” said Al Maidoor.
The DHA has urged all private providers to comply with the e-claims system, as it helps track the compliance of all financial transactions of the health sector.
“Through the e-claim link we can track the proper implementation of existing and approved price increases. In 2014, the e-claim portal received 900,000 claims per month and by the end of the year, the transactions will be worth approximately Dhs6 billion,” said Haider Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at the DHA.
Almost 23 million services and eight million claims were recorded from the beginning of this year through the portal, the DHA said.
Healthcare service costs in the UAE have been skyrocketing over the last few years.
According to a research by the Cost Of Living report, consumers in the UAE spend the most among the GCC on healthcare with each person footing a bill of $1,200 on average every year.
The Emirates emerged as the most expensive country for consulting a general practitioner at an internationally certified hospital in the GCC.
The UAE also had the highest costs for routine, specialist and executive health check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the region, the report showed.