Mandatory health fees for workers in January

Construction companies in Dubai have six months to organise their finances to support a health funding system that will insure their workers, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

PROTECTING WORKERS: The Dubai Health Authority's HE Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid.
PROTECTING WORKERS: The Dubai Health Authority's HE Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid.

Construction companies in Dubai have six months to organise their finances to support a health funding system that will insure their workers, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Last year the DHA was formed to improve the healthcare system for everyone living and working in Dubai.

The director general of the DHA, HE Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, said that starting 1 January 2009 the new Health Benefits Contribution (HBC) will be a compulsory payment which all employers and sponsors will have to make.

The exact figure for the HBC is still being finalised but Al Murooshi estimated it would be between US $136 (AED500) and $218 per person.

"Our objective for the funding system is to deliver a high quality, affordable and accessible health service that will provide a good basic standard of healthcare in Dubai similar to that provided by leading developed countries."

Under the new system, the patient's health is the main objective. Subject to capacity, patients will have the freedom to choose their preferred outpatient clinic which will then be primarily responsible for their healthcare needs.

The new healthcare system will stipulate that everyone will be issued with health cards. Subject to availability, they can then register with their chosen public or private clinic.

A DHA spokesperson said: "The new system applies to everyone irrespective of where they're from or what they do for a living. Construction workers working in Dubai will clearly be among those who benefit the most from this scheme."

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