Dubai, UAE: Hospitals and health-care organisations cannot hike the cost of services in 2015 beyond a 4.2 per cent cap imposed by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), officials said on Wednesday.
The new pricing cap is adjusted according to the published inflation rate as set forth by the Dubai Statistics Centre.
Health bodies seeking increases must apply before the end of November given that the new regulation does not call for blanket increases across the health-care sector.
The cap will not only monitor and regulate the health-care system but also give complete value for money to each and every individual as health insurance is becoming mandatory for all.
Eisa Al Maidour, DHA Director-General, said the “aim of price regulation is to ensure a balance between price increase and protecting the patient’s interests”.
Hospitals and clinics applying for the increase must justify the reasons they are seeking an increase.
Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, head of DHA’s health funding, said each and every service will be reviewed for eligibility.
“This means that a hospital or polyclinic may have 200 services but this increase will not be allowed on the overall pricing but on [a] service-by-service basis and the company will have to submit a justification for the increase. When we consider the application we will look at many criteria such as financial, clinical, cost of business, compliance with DHA regulations, no pending violations, compliance with smart regulatory tools such as e-prescription and e-claims,” he said.
So far, in 2014, the e-claim portal — which provides for transparent financial tracking — has catered to 23 million health cases, attended to 8 million claims, 13,500 physicians dispensed 10 million medications making transactions worth up to Dh6 billion this year. DHA projects an increase in these transactions of up to Dh9 billion by 2015 and Dh12.7 billion by 2016.
Health experts said the regulation is paving the way for grading of health-care services to create premium and regular health-care providers in the community.
“Earlier, a doctor who charged a steep consultation fee only because he had been in Dubai for three decades will not be able to do so unless he shows justification by way of some embellishment of service or qualification,” a representative of an insurance provider said.
Dr Yousuf said the regulation policy was comparable to international health-care regulation policies and was the way forward to make health care sustainable and of high quality where these control mechanisms would create a market equilibrium.
“We are not trying to fix prices, this is a free market, but we are trying to regulate price rises. The next step will be regulation of the insurance premiums,” he said.
Eventually, when everyone one is covered by insurance, premiums become lower as economies of scale will come into operation. The cost of care per person will drop and we can have a larger risk pool where the elderly and other such groups will be able to derive the benefit because of competitive rates in he market, he said.
© Gulf NewsNov 2014