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All you need to know about new Patient Support Programs in Dubai

The Dubai Health Authority’s mission is to transform Dubai into a leading healthcare destination by fostering innovative and integrated care models and by enhancing community engagement. In our understanding, the introduction of HCV (Hepatitis C) and BASMAH (cancer screening and treatment fund) patient support programs places Dubai in the very front of the ranking of best places in the world to have access to quality healthcare. Before the introduction of these programs, such treatments were subject to the coverage limits of one’s health plan. In this Pacific Prime Dubai article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Dubai’s new Patient Support programs.

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What are HCV and BASMAH patient support programs?

Since January 2019, expats based in Dubai with the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) receive unlimited coverage for three types of cancer treatment and Hepatitis C under the new patient support programs. Prior to this, the DHA already had preventive diabetic, heart disease, newborn, and neonatal screenings programs in place under the EBP.

Patient Support Programs (PAP) are funded to help the uninsured, and, in the case of Dubai, underinsured people get access to necessary drugs, screenings, and treatments. As such, beneficiaries of these funds are mainly Low Salary Band (LSB) workers, who exceed their insurance limits and suffer from either Hepatitis C or three kinds of cancer: breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer.

How will HCV and BASMAH patient support programs be funded?

After January 2019, a part of insurance premiums is allocated to the mentioned funds, which, aside from free screening services, will also cover the treatment costs. AED $19 and value-added tax (VAT) per insurance policy will have to be allocated to the BASMAH fund, and AED $18 and VAT to the HCV program. The HCV and BASMAH costs lie on the insurer’s side and may, but does not have to, result in a health insurance premium increase of approx AED $37 and VAT. These mandatory fund allocations apply to both individual and group members.

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HCV Patient Support Program in Dubai

The HCV PAP initiative is in line with the WHO goal of eliminating HCV worldwide by 2030, but Dubai’s goal is to achieve it by 2021. Hepatitis C virus is responsible for inflammation and infection of the liver, which can lead to a serious, chronic condition in infected patients, and in some cases, a liver transplant might be needed to save a patient’s life.

The decision to support HCV, in particular, was made by DHA based on the study of e-claims data. The HCV patient support program allows for early diagnosis in patients with limited coverage and further provides financial and emotional support for those patients, and in the long term, also reduces complications of Hepatitis C and costs associated with it.

BASMAH Patient Support Program in Dubai

So what is BASMAH exactly? The BASMAH program was first introduced in 2017 to provide free screenings and treatment to everyone in Dubai and to continue providing the highest quality health services possible to the Emirate’s citizens. Under the BASMAH insurance scheme, those detected with breast, colorectal or cervical cancer can receive coverage on screening and treatment free of cost. To further support this initiative, the mentioned fee of AED $19 + VAT will be collected by the DHA.

What does that mean for you?

Automatically, all Dubai citizens with the basic benefit plan are eligible to partake in the HCV and BASMAH patient support programs. Preventive screenings and treatment for HCV virus and three types of cancer (breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers) are now available for free for all insured citizens. The only downside might be the insurers increasing the premiums slightly to accommodate for the monthly fee of AED $37 + VAT to the funds.

Whether you’re looking to add pre-existing condition coverage to your mandatory health insurance in Dubai, for expat health insurance, or a new health insurance plan altogether, our insurance advisors will make sure that your plan has suitable coverage for all your medical needs and that your annual limits are sufficient for any eventuality.

We’ll also advise on the clinics and hospitals where you can receive the treatment you need, and if the price is your concern, even other ways to reduce health insurance premiums.

Contact us to receive impartial advice or a free quote or plan comparison today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!