Will Jordanians ever get universal health insurance?

Published July 22nd, 2015 - 11:56 GMT

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Tuesday called for expediting efforts to examine the means to provide comprehensive health insurance to all Jordanians.

The findings and recommendations should be forwarded to the Council of Ministers, which will take the appropriate decisions to ensure the provision of comprehensive health insurance, the premier said during a meeting with Health Minister Ali Hiasat and other officials at the ministry’s headquarters. 

“We have come a long way,” Ensour added, stressing that the different health entities should cooperate to maximise their achievements. 

Underscoring the importance of expanding health insurance to cover all Jordanians, Hiasat said several proposals and options should be available.

The premier also stressed the importance of finalising the bill on medical accountability, pointing out that the law should be balanced and safeguard the rights of healthcare providers and recipients. 

Stressing the government’s support for the Health Ministry, Ensour directed health officials to start implementing Al Bashir Hospital’s development plan, to revamp the hospital’s different wards, especially the emergency ward.   

Hiasat said the development plan entails constructing a new building for emergency cases and renovating old buildings, such as those for surgeries and internal medicine.

The hospital’s 16-bed burn unit, he said, is under a lot of pressure, noting that the ministry envisions establishing a supporting unit, potentially at Prince Hamzah Hospital.

In a related topic, the Health Ministry said 1,000 to 2,000 patients received treatment at its hospitals during the Eid Al Fitr holiday — Friday through Monday — while Al Bashir and Prince Hamzah hospitals received 9,000 patients. 

Medical cases dealt with during the holiday were related to traffic accidents, brawls, gunshots and playing with firecrackers. 

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