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Dubai companies must insure employees

A new law was passed obliging all companies to provide health insurance to employees in Dubai. The new plans to be introduced over the next three years mean that all companies must offer at least a "basic benefits package" to employees.

The health insurance law, passed this week by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Dubai's vice president and ruler, has been widely praised by the medical industry.

"I think the insurance plan is a big step forward for the country," David Hadley, executive director of Mediclinic Middle East Health Services, told The National. "It will provide greater access to affordable health care to more people."

The government will continue to be responsible for local citizens, who are estimated to constitute less than a fifth of the population. Official estimates indicate that only 40-50% of Dubai's population is currently covered by private or government health insurance.

Insurance companies must obtain special permission from the Health Authority to issue insurance policies. While it's not certain how much the new policies will cost businesses, Arab News reported that figures from Dubai-based Capital estimate that patient claims in Dubai will triple in 2016 to 4.8 billion dirhams ($ 1.3 billion) from 1.3 billion. millions of dirhams. Annually today.

The neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi, which introduced mandatory health insurance in 2007, has seen patient claims quadruple.

David Hadley went on to say that the increase in the number of people gaining access to healthcare means more investment in the industry.

“Compulsory health insurance will increase the number of people who can access health centers. This, in turn, will encourage more people to invest in healthcare facilities.