New regulations regarding health insurance within Dubai Healthcare City are now being put into effect, the authority managing the freezone has announced.
Dubai’s new resolution No. 8 of 2015 of the health insurance law, passed in May, authorised the Dubai Healthcare City Authority to register healthcare facilities, approve prices for healthcare services and monitor approved prices, among other responsibilities.
The authority said it conducted workshops in June on the new ruling and its impact on existing and new healthcare facilities.
“Strengthening regulations is paramount as Dubai Healthcare City rolls out expansion plans and welcomes new business partners,” said vice-chairperson and executive director of DHCA Raja Al Gurg.
“Medical insurance providers are an important stakeholder in healthcare delivery. The new resolution will allow a closer dialogue between insurance providers and DHCC-based healthcare facilities to increase patient benefits and improve health outcomes.”
The resolution will not affect registered healthcare facilities and registered insurance providers in DHCC and they can continue to follow the pricing model in place at the time of registration and/or renewal, said managing director of DHCA- Regulatory Ramadan AlBlooshi.
“The resolution will have a direct impact on new clinical facilities, and on complaints management and handling. Prior to the resolution, complaints against insurance companies were not in our purview. The authority will now handle complaints by three parties – patient, hospital/clinic and insurance providers, and enforce violations,” he explained.
The authority also said it will announce details on the implementation of the resolution in phases. Additional workshops are also being planned to formulate a medical insurance pricing model as per best practices.
The DHCA’s long-term goal is to facilitate maximum healthcare services under medical insurance cover and networks, the statement said.
Dubai Healthcare City has been rapidly expanding and in March announced the launch of its second phase. Spread across 22 million square feet in Jadaf, it was built at a cost ranging between Dhs 3bn and Dhs 5bn.
Almost 25 per cent of the new phase will consist of medical and healthcare services, while another 25 per cent will be dedicated to hospitality and retail shopping, along with a focus on education.
The launch of the second phase of the project will help promote Dubai as a medical tourism hub, Al Gurg said at the time.
Last year, Dubai set an ambitious target to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2020, with annual revenues from the sector estimated to reach Dhs 2.6bn.
The emirate’s medical tourism strategy has been divided into two phases with the first stage chalked out until 2016 and the second phase until 2020.
Some of the target markets for Dubai’s medical tourism initiative are Russia, the CIS, South Asia and other GCC countries.