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Escalating Healthcare charges in UAE

that they may have to cough up. They do not have that kind of money anymore,” she added. “We can only sympathise with them because, we too, despite being health professionals are not entitled to discounts,” she added.

In 2003, the out-of-pocket personal expense on health was an astounding 70.4%, as indicated by a 2006 World Health Statistics report.

These expenses included gratuities and payments in-kind made to health practitioners and suppliers of pharmaceuticals, therapeutic appliances, and other goods and services aiming at restoration or improvement of health status. It also took in household costs towards public services, non-profit institutions or non-governmental organisations, however, left out payments made by projects aiming at medical and paramedical benefits to heir employees. 3.3% of gross domestic product was the total expenditure o government on health in 2003.

“We have to trust them because they are the experts. If they say that a person needs a particular treatment to survive, then we are ready to pay up whatever they demand even if it means taking loans,” said Fazeel Khan, who recently paid Dh50,000 as Intensive Care Unit charges for a loved one in a private hospital. “I have no health insurance, all I have done is taken a loan and used up my credit cards. Saving the life was more important. I have no idea how I will clear my loans,” he added.

In 2003, the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) presented a new fee list for gynaecological and maternity services, as a part of the government’s plan. “Even then it was a shock to the expat community as all the government announcements were very sudden. Till that time, I have never given preference to a government hospital because I have to pay for myself, therefore, it does not make any difference if I pay to a private hospital or a government one. Both charge the same amount more or less,” says Shanti Sudhir, a housewife.)

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