Bahraini citizens are entitled to receive free treatment without limit at all government medical facilities under the national health insurance programme (Sehati), it was announced yesterday.

The Supreme Council for Health (SCH)’s general secretariat said in a statement that citizens will be able to choose from a number of packages that will be made available when the scheme starts getting implemented.

Compulsory services will include comprehensive primary health care, inpatient-outpatient and accidents and emergency services in Bahrain; and conditional in-vitro fertilisation, medicines, all types of medical tests and treatment abroad, if required.

Plastic surgeries, cosmetic dentistry, opticals, weight-loss surgeries, private nursing care, Chinese therapy using needles, alternative medicine and private rooms are not included.

The SCH clarified that the Health Insurance Fund (Shifa) will cover the cost of treatment for citizens in government hospitals.

The general secretariat affirmed that the health insurance project aims to improve health services for citizens with ease and speed in accordance with the highest standards of quality and sustainability.

“We are keen to enhance communication with various official and social institutions, foremost of which are Parliament and the Shura Council.

“The goal is to achieve comprehensive health coverage and provide the best health services.”

The scheme includes six packages, of which three are for Bahrainis, two for expatriates and one for visitors. There are three benefit packages under Sehati for Bahrainis.

* One is free and mandatory. It will be funded by government from Shifa and will be available in all the government facilities.

* The second is an optional package, available in government and private facilities, with the cost subsidised by the government.

* The third is a private package which will be available in government and private facilities, with cost to be borne by the beneficiary or the employer.

The private package will be insured by private insurance companies, while the first two packages will be covered by Shifa.

The two packages offered to expatriates – one mandatory and the other optional – will be funded by the employer and will be made available in government and private facilities.

The mandatory package will be covered under both private companies and Shifa, while the optional package will remain with private companies only.


The visitors will be offered a mandatory package – available in all government facilities – which will be funded by the visitor and insured by Shifa.

The GDN announced in October last year that a trial run of Sehati will be rolled out this year.

The dry run, without accounting and payment which would involve the government and some private hospitals, will run throughout the year, ahead of its official launch in 2024.

Sehati was originally due to be implemented in 2019 but was delayed due to various factors, including the pandemic.

The Sehati cards, also in line with the 2016-2025 National Health Plan with the Health Ministry’s highly acclaimed ‘Choose Your Doctor’ scheme, are expected to be rolled out nationwide soon.

The chip-enabled card contains the patient’s medical history, test results, diagnoses and prescription details, which can only be read by authorised physicians.

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