The creation of a federal health insurance authority to regulate the industry across the UAE has moved a step closer, it was confirmed at the Arab Health conference yesterday. Progress on the plans was outlined by Dr Ajit K Nagpal, former adviser to the Ministry of Health and a member of an inter-ministerial committee on health insurance steering group.
The introduction of an authority to regulate UAE standards in compulsory health insurance cover and diagnostics has been discussed for a number of years but current developments have gone further than previous attempts.
Dr Nagpal said: “The proposals are ready and they are seeking comments from the various emirates.” Other ministries, such as justice, labour and health, are also being consulted, he said.
Dr Nagpal was taking part in the Health Insurance Forum, one of 18 conferences that make up the Arab Health 2008.
Compulsory health insurance for expats began in Abu Dhabi this month and the same is expected to be introduced in Dubai later this year.
Arab Health expects 50,000 visitors
More than 50,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to attend Arab Health – “the greatest science gathering in the Middle East and the Arab world”, according to Health Minister Humaid Al Qutami.
“Arab Health is a world-class event where the latest medical technologies are revealed,” he said.
“I am confident all the expertise brought to Arab Health by the health industry and scientists will benefit the medical sector, which will serve humanity.”
Arab Health, which takes place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre until Thursday, was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The multi-track Arab Health – encompassing 18 conferences, with more than 400 speakers and 6,000 delegates – is the world’s largest event of its kind. The programme included Leaders in Health, with an in-depth analysis of global and regional investment opportunities featuring speakers from the World Bank, the US, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Iraq and the UAE.
Arab Health has grown substantially over the past five years and the 2008 edition will be the first year the show will be “venue-bound”.
This means there will be no additional space to accommodate the estimated 20 per cent to 30 per cent increase in demand we are forecasting for next year.
Established over three decades ago, the exhibition has developed into what is now generally viewed in the medical professional as a ‘must attend’ global event in the healthcare calendar.
More information is available at www.arabhealthonline.com or www.ahcongress.com
UAE authority’s health insurance monitor ‘a step closer’