Abu Dhabi's Department of Health has issued a mandate requiring health facilities to issue medical bills to patients in a bid to bring transparency and more power to expats.
Set to come into effect starting May 1, the bill is required to detail the treatment provided, healthcare services received and include any patient cost sharing obligations such as co-pay.
Mohammed Al Hajj, Acting Director for Health System Financing Division at the Department, said that the new policy aims to ensure that locals and residents in Abu Dhabi will continue to enjoy highest quality of medical services by empowering patients and ensuring they understand their rights and obligations and increasing community's awareness about the cost of healthcare services.
Al Hajj added that the policy stems from DoH's ongoing efforts to promote healthcare transparency, as well as reduce duplication caused by unnecessary healthcare services, and promote the principle of value for money.
This step comes in line with DoH's strategy to continue engaging with the community and involving them in every step of their medical treatment process. It also aims to raise their understanding of the insurance rights afforded to them and their insurance companies to enable them to identify any discrepancies or questioned costs, thus empowering expats and locals.
Going in the opposite direction, Kuwaiti Health Minister Bassel Hamoud Al-Sabah has ordered that a committee be formed to impose compulsory health insurance for expats.
Kuwait has been working to restrict a number of government posts to nationals only in order to support the country's economy and reduce financial and economic burdens from depending on expatriates.
Since 2017, health services fees for expats have increased in Kuwait by 100%- 150%.
In June 2018 foreigners accounted for 69% of Kuwait's population of 4,588,148, according to statistics released by the Public Authority for Civil Information.