UAE tops in Arab region in terms of Current Health Expenditure per Capita: 2017 NHA report

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE Healthcare
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The UAE has ranked first among the Gulf, Arab and Eastern Mediterranean countries in terms of Current Health Expenditure per Capita (CHE_pc), as per the first National Health Account (NHA) report 2017.

The report was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with other relevant health and government authorities, according to the global Statement of Health Account (SHA) standards.

The results of the report were published by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) in a virtual event. The findings have shown that the country’s health funding scheme is sustainable, with mandatory spending accounting for 83 percent of the total spending on healthcare.

Dr. Mohammad Salim Al Olama, under-secretary of the Ministry of Health commented that the NHA has become a strategic priority in the UAE, fostering the country’s health sector’s sustainability, productivity, and governance.

“The NHA aims to set up an integrated national platform with a sustainable vision to gather health spending data, improve planning, and allocate resources. The platform will give a special focus to the distribution of expenditures according to diseases and linking expenditures to budgets and health outcomes to offer national health strategic plan makers greater and more flexible options,” Mr. Al Olama added.

Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais
Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais
Health Minister

“The UAE deservedly occupies a prominent position across many global competitiveness reports when it comes to sustainable development, thanks to first the support and directives of its wise leadership and second having developed national indicators and performance standards, which are serving as a roadmap for improving the quality of healthcare services, taking advantage of the country’s modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art technologies, and highly efficient medical care facilities. The findings revealed that the UAE is leading the Gulf, Arab and Eastern Mediterranean countries in the total expenditure on health per capita, in itself a remarkable achievement that would enhance the effectiveness of national initiatives, projects, and policies in line with the Future Foresight Strategy and the UAE Centennial 2071.”

Findings of the report

As per the WHO statistics, the current health expenditure rose by 26 percent to $15 billion (AED57 billion) in 2017, compared to $12 billion (AED45 billion) in 2016. The findings also showed that per capita health spending amounted to $1,669 (AED6,128), up from $1,323 (AED360) in 2016, with a similar growth rate of 26 percent.

Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant undersecretary at UAE Ministry of Health said, “The Out of Pocket Expenditure as a percent of CHE dropped by 36 percent reaching 12.2 percent in 2017, down from 19.2 percent in 2016. This reflects the government’s interest in strengthening the financial protection of individuals to help them obtain health services and achieve universal health coverage, which is one of the most important health goals of the UAE’s plan set to achieve sustainable development goals.”