Dubai to cover three types of cancer and Hepatitis C under mandatory insurance

It will allow for screening and treatment of the disease among low-salary band of workers in the UAE



Saleh Al Hashimi, advisor of the Dubai Health Insurance Corporation at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has reportedly told Khaleej Times that starting from January 2019, screening and treatment for three types of cancer and Hepatitis C will be covered under the basic benefit plan of the Dubai Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme.

The announcement comes as a major relief to the many low-salary band of workers enlisted in this insurance scheme.

The scheme will be available by paying an additional fee of Dhs19 per health insurance policy.

“This will be applicable across the board even for companies giving the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) with an index rate of Dh550,” said Saleh.

The entire Dhs150,000 limit per person under the EBP package can now be spent towards the treatment of cancer.

Explaining the decision to include screening tests under the package as well, Saleh said, “We want to move into the preventive medicine instead of curative because it reduces the costs.”

The inclusion of Hepatitis C is towards fulfilling Dubai Vision which is to eliminate the disease by 2021 and also to abide by the World Health Organization’s plan to eliminate it by 2030.

The DHA is reportedly in talks with a pharmaceutical company for a pay-per-performance treatment of lung cancer starting next year wherein if the treatment is not effective, the pharmaceutical company will pay back all the costs incurred by way of the treatment.

The decision to include these diseases under the mandatory health insurance scheme comes a few months after the Dubai Health Corporation decided to include mental health under the scheme too which allowed patients access to psychological counselling and treatment.

It became mandatory for every Dubai resident to have insurance coverage after March 31 last year.

Dubai Healthcare Corporation was formed in May under a new organisational structure at Dubai Health Authority.