Key Facts about the UAE’s Healthcare and Health Insurance Market

By PolicyBazaar
  | Published: 22 July 2020 | Last Updated On: 23 December 2020

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When you are trying to build an assessment that can be credible of any of the healthcare systems, a great resource would definitely be some facts and figures. By taking into consideration, literally, everything from the quality of the healthcare to the kind of diseases the local residents is most vulnerable to, in this thread is a clearer picture of where exactly UAE stands, and even some pretty credible assumptions for where UAE is heading.

Keeping that in mind, in this thread we will look at some key facts and figures along with the story behind them and the ramifications that might be for both the healthcare Dubai and the health insurance market in UAE – along with all of you that have been part of the system and have been provided the care by the system.

Leading Causes of Death in the UAE are Cancer and Heart Diseases

This should not be a surprise, especially since it is similar to many parts of the world. In most leading countries, cancer and heart conditions are the major causes of death. These include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, among others.

The fact that is surprising is that these two are hugely affected by one’s lifestyle. As per the WHO, at least one-third of all cancer cases can be prevented by leading a healthier lifestyle. This figure is even higher when we speak about heart diseases. As per the Mayo Clinic in America’s claim roughly 80% of the total cases can be entirely avoided.

As for what can be done on our ends to right this is just one thing, which is prevention. Instead of waiting along to fall sick and then treating any symptoms one might have, it is time for all of us, and be it individuals, health insurance providers, companies, or healthcare professionals, to take an approach that is more proactive. This will require regular and constant scanning of any early warning signs of any of the diseases, and also greater knowledge about how the lifestyle choices that we make impact our health.

High Rate of Genetic Diseases among the UAE Population, the Second Highest Rate in the Arab World

The Arab world – especially the UAE and Oman, has a genetic disease rate that is quite high. One of the main reasons identified behind this is broadly thought to be inter-family marriage, or consanguine.

The bright side is that the UAE authorities have identified this and are making progress in addressing this problem.

According to the professionals, some diseases are rare and therefore, crucial to appear in screening. This is clearly a big challenge and seeing by the stats, genetic diseases are rising. Without any doubt, the cultural factors must be taken into consideration to find out a solution to this problem that is both realistic and long-lasting.

UAE’s Obesity Rate is high, Double the World Average

The obesity levels in the UAE are as high as 37% of the entire population, which is the world average’s double. The people having type 2 diabetes are also increasing, which is correlated to being overweight, with almost 19% of the people suffering from this disease.

The solution to this would be preventing it by educating the residents. Simply treating the consequences that obesity carries is not enough. Much more is required in terms of encouraging regular exercising and healthy eating to prevent any weight gain in excess in the very first place. This should come with understanding the difficulty one faces while eating healthy when there is such a huge availability of tempting food. 

Numerous Health Insurance Providers and Licensed Health Insurance Brokers

One thing UAE doesn’t have is a shortage of health insurance providers and insurance brokers. This does not seem like a bad thing in the very first go, but when you further dig deeper you can see that many of the companies are having a difficult time, which seems to be slight trouble for the healthcare and the consumer of the UAE.

To overcome the problem in the health insurance industry, the companies and the seekers should change the approach they have towards procuring healthcare. This is more than finding someone to cover the expenses, it is about reducing the risk involved in having to make a claim at all, while also having your mind at ease that the policies are in place in case you are required to. 

What the Future Holds

As seen in the thread, there are some great ups to be happy about and some downs to work upon for the UAE healthcare system. But the future for the healthcare of the UAE along with the impact on residents can be great if the health authorities, government, and the large companies meet each other in terms of efforts.