The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will distribute 100 health insurance cards among expatriates with financial constraints every year as part of its Year of Zayed celebrations.
The card, called Year of Zayed Health Insurance Card, will be part of the Essential Benefits Package (EBP) and will have a maximum limit of Dh150,000 per person. The card will be valid for a year.
Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the DHA, announced the initiative at a ceremony held to revisit all the activities the DHA organised during the Year of Zayed. The year 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the UAE has dedicated it to celebrate his legacy.
Al Qutami said: "This year, we organised a series of initiatives to mark the Year of Zayed. The UAE is known globally for its philanthropic work and we will continue our humanitarian initiatives to the best of our ability."
Saleh Al Hashmi, Advisor at the DHA's Health Insurance Corporation, said 100 people who will be given the card have been identified already. "This is an ongoing initiative and we will keep selecting people based on their financial needs after assessing them," he told Khaleej Times at the launch. "The cards will cover health costs of ... for example, those with huge families, who are unable to sponsor their dependents.
"If the same people require financial help next year, we will not stop the cards, else others will be selected."
The EBP, which costs between Dh650 to Dh725 per annum, covers all emergency costs, maternity issues, surgeries, cancer treatment etc and includes a 20 per cent co-payment. The cards have been sponsored by the 12 insurance companies that are registered with the DHA under the EBP as part of their CSR activities.
"For this year, one insurance company has sponsored all the 100 cards, so the remaining funds are being utilised to help other people selected through the Community Development Authority (CDA)," said Al Hashmi.
Those needing the card can approach the DHA's Health Funding Department and will be selected as per a set criteria, he added.
As part of the Year of Zayed initiatives, more than 200 children with congenital heart abnormalities received free surgery through the Nabadat programme, said Khalid Al Jallaf, Chairman of the Year of Zayed team.
Nabadat, which means heartbeat in Arabic, is a programme launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Charity and Humanitarian Establishment (MBRCHE) in collaboration with the DHA to alleviate the suffering of impoverished children with congenital heart disease (CHD).
The initiative is under the patronage of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. It provides free medical assistance, life-saving surgery and post-surgical care to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for treatment of CHDs.
CHD is a common type of birth defect where malformations occur to the structure of the heart.
Nabadat provided free heart surgeries to more than 100 children in Mumbai in July this year. The surgeries took place in collaboration with the cardiology team at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and S. L. Raheja, a Fortis Associate Hospital in Mumbai.
In September this year, the DHA cardiologists collaborated with Kafrelsheikh University Hospital in Egypt and provided more than 100 free heart surgeries.
Additionally, the Nabadat cardiac team also conducted free pediatric cardiac check-ups to screen as many children as possible.
The DHA also had launched a scientific research competition in July this year to recognise "remarkable talent" in the country in the medical field.
Al Jallaf said: "The DHA will publish the top three research papers and distribute them to medical academies, libraries and institutions."
DHA employees also contributed to build 100 wells to provide clean drinking water to families in countries of need.
All you need to know about the initiative
Q-What will the insurance cover?
A-The Year of Zayed Health Insurance Card will have a maximum limit of Dh150,000 per person and be valid for a year. It will offer essential benefits and cover emergency costs, maternity issues, surgeries, cancer treatment, etc.
Q-Who are eligible?
Hundred eligible residents have already been selected for next year. It is based on an applicant's financial needs.
Q-How does one apply for the card?
Those needing the card can approach the DHA's Health Funding Department. He/she will be selected as per a set criteria.
Q-Who has sponsored the cards?
One insurance company sponsored all 100 cards this year. It is an ongoing initiative that will be sponsored by 12 insurance firms.
By Asma Ali Zain
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