Dubai residents spent Dh12.7 billion on health in 2014

Latest figures released by Dubai health officials show that curative health care spending in the emirate was 10 times greater than cash outlays for preventive measures.


Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

Dubai: Latest figures released by Dubai health officials on Thursday show that curative health care spending in the emirate was 10 times greater than cash outlays for preventive measures.

Statistics released by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) indicate that of the Dh12.7 billion spent on health in 2014, five per cent was spent on services that can prevent major health problems while 59 per cent of the spending was allocated.

Of the total spending, 70 per cent worth roughly Dh8.4 billion was spent by the private sector and persons and families with the remaining 30 per cent spent by government.

Government spent 12 per cent of its own spending share on preventive health measures.

The findings of the second edition of the health accounts report commissioned by the DHA were presented in a press conference at the Arab Health Congress.

Dr. Haidhar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding Department announced the release of the report, which supports decision-making through evidence-based insights and with the help of more than 100 organisations including Ministry of Health, hospitals, clinics and drug firms.

Al Yousuf suggested that making preventive measures more of a priority in future could reduce illness, thereby cutting curative health care costs in the long term.

“We want the spend on preventative care to increase as this will be a key indicator of a healthier population and we are concerned about people adopting healthier lifestyles to bring down the expense on curative care,” said Al Yousuf.

With the latest public and private health financials in hand, “it helps understand allocation of health funds so that health care entities, the government sector and health investors can take evidence-based decisions,” he said.

Diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity are costly for health professionals to administer, said the report, costs that could be reduced if people were made aware that they need to strive toward leading healthier lifestyles.

The report is crucial owing to the universal health coverage law that has come into effect in Dubai and will provide key health indicators for people as well insurance providers.

Al Yousuf said that as the roll out of the mandatory health insurance scheme is completed in 2016, it is expected that the share of out-of-pocket expenditure incurred by families and individuals will drop.

Altijani Hussain, Health Economics Consultant at DHA said that of the total expenditure, 59 per cent was spent towards curative care, 14 per cent was spent towards medicines and medical equipment, 15 per cent for ancillary services such as laboratory and diagnostics tests, and 5 per cent towards preventive services.

In weeks ahead, DHA officials will meet with insurance firms, private and public health care providers and drug firms to vet the report findings.

Other important findings ...

In terms of growth in the current health care expenditure, in-patient care grew by 14 per cent, outpatient care grew by 8 per cent, and pharmaceutical expenditure grew by 14 per cent.

A total of Dh 12.7 billion spent on health care in 2014, Dh 10.94 bllion spent in Dubai, Dh1.8 billion spent outside Dubai.

Dh 8.4 billion was spent by private health care sector in 2014, with an increase of 37 per cent since 2012.

By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary Senior Reporter

Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.

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