If you’ve been following the news in Dubai, you would have definitely heard about the new health insurance rules and mandatory health insurance coverage. But do you know that this is all a part of a much bigger picture?

The ISAHD initiative by the Dubai Government aims to bring healthcare services in the Emirate at par with international standards, and here’s how…

What is ISAHD?

ISAHD is short for ‘Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai’ and translates into ‘bringing happiness’ in Arabic. It is an initiative by the Dubai Government and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to make healthcare in Dubai affordable and of a high quality, as well as to tie together all healthcare stakeholders (patients, payers, providers and authorities) into a seamless and cohesive system.

All the information and finer details about ISAHD, including its initiatives, goals, as well as questions related to mandatory medical insurance, are available on its official website – www.isahd.ae.

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What does ISAHD do?

With an aim to become the number one healthcare system in the world, ISAHD has been conceived as a system that primarily fulfills these two promises:

Making sure everyone is covered under health insurance

The foremost pillar of ISAHD is to provide health insurance for everyone in Dubai – Nationals, expat residents and going forward even visitors.

Under the ISAHD initiative, the DHA has already implemented mandatory health insurance for all residents living in Dubai. With the launch of the affordable Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) specifically designed for those earning less than AED 4000 a month, DHA has made sure that everyone in Dubai can at least afford to be covered under a basic health insurance plan.

A total of 12 insurance companies have been authorized to provide the EBP to residents. The annual insurance premium for such a plan ranges from AED 550-700. You can find more details about these plans at www.isahd.ae.

While employers have to ensure health insurance coverage for all their employees, sponsors have the responsibility of enrolling their spouses, dependents, as well as domestic staff into a health insurance plan.

Those who failed to enroll into a health insurance plan starting January 2017 faced a fine of AED 500 for every month of not being covered.

Ensuring high-quality healthcare in Dubai

The second pillar of ISAHD is to build a top-notch healthcare system in Dubai, in line with international best practices.

Through a system of ‘ejada’ or quality indicators, all healthcare facilities (hospitals and clinics), physicians as well as insurance companies will be rated for the quality of their service based on information collected by DHA and reviews by patients, payers and providers.

Residents can access this information on ISAHD’s online or mobile portal, and choose a healthcare facility, physician or insurance provider based on these quality indicators.

If you have a complaint, suggestion, recommendation or inquiry, you can simply visit the iPROMeS (Insurance Partner Relations Opinion Management e-System) page on the ISAHD website and submit your enquiry. The system even allows you to track the status of your submitted enquiry.