Ambulance charges set for insurance companies in Dubai
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Ambulance charges set for insurance companies in Dubai

Following an agreement signed by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) and ACCUMED Practice Management, insurers will foot the bill for ambulance charges by the end of the year. The move aims to put the DCAS more in line with the Dubai Government’s desire for all of its entities to be self-financed and, this week, UAE Medical Insurance discusses what this could mean for residents and visitors to the Emirate.

close up on the roof of an ambulance to represent ambulance charges in Dubai

What does this agreement mean?

The self-financing strategy aims to make improvements to emergency services in Dubai by including it as part of the mandatory health insurance coverage. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) changes of 2014 made it compulsory for all persons present in the Emirate to hold a minimum level of health coverage, which includes all citizens, visa-holding residents, and visitors.

This means that ambulatory officers will request your health insurance cards when attending to your care in order to directly bill your insurer for the ambulance charges. Rolling out in phases, the first stage of this process will be to set pricing and contracts with insurers in Dubai by September. Fees will then be charged when phase two begins, which is expected by the end of 2017. Currently, the average emergency ambulance service cost is said to be Dh 750.

Behind the scenes, the agreement will also support the DCAS’ work to improve the ambulance service, by targeting to achieve the maximum benefit from its revenue stream. Transferring the ambulance fees to health insurance companies will reduce the costs to the government, and it’s expected that the government entity will have the discretion to reinvest that money into new vehicles and boosting staff numbers.

Who will be affected by the change to ambulance charges?

With these new changes to be phased in, everyone will be affected by the agreement eventually. Dubai citizens and residents holding valid-visas will be required to provide ambulance staff with their health insurance cards from September onwards. This shouldn’t be an issue, as the DHA mandatory insurance laws required to be met by March 2017 have led to a vast majority of Dubai residents now being covered by health insurance.

People who are visiting Dubai as short term visitors are also beholden to the mandatory insurance laws, so they should also already have insurance prior to entering the Emirate. According to ACCUMED, visitors are not currently charged for ambulance services in Dubai, but they will be through their insurance plans once phase two has begun by the end of 2017/beginning of 2018.

Officials have, however, clarified that ambulance services will still be available to people with a valid health insurance policy. The ambulance charges will, in these cases, be covered by the DCAS as a public service provider.

sky view of Dubai city

Will there be immediate changes to ambulance services in Dubai?

The short answer is no. The DCAS and ACCUMED will be working to introduce these changes in phases over the next year or so, giving both ambulatory services, insurers and people in Dubai time to prepare. It’s long, positive change that the Dubai Government and its entities are hoping to influence, with Khalifa bin Darri, Executive Director of DCAS, explaining that data gathered from this new approach will help provide more improvements in future.

There will also be no change to the announcement made last year by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, that imposed Dubai Police and DCAS fees of Dh 6,770 for emergency and evacuation services provided to each casualty in a traffic incident. The fee, once the ambulance charge changes are phased in, will be passed on to the insurers of those involved.

Getting Dubai health insurance coverage for the changes to ambulance charges

Since the new changes being introduced fall in line with other Dubai Government initiatives, there’s very little many people will need to do before the phase two charges begin. Having said that, if you’re going to arrive in Dubai soon, or you’re already here but haven’t reviewed your health insurance in a while, why not give the expert team at UAE Medical Insurance a call today?

Our advisers can ensure that you have the right level of coverage for a price that fits your budget. Leaving you to simply kick back and let us do all the work for you. For some helpful advice and a free quote, contact the team at UAE Medical Insurance today!




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