Complex Made Simple

The UAE is the Arab country with the highest total per capita health expenditure

Yesterday, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced the results of the UAE’s first-ever National Health Account (NHA) 2017.

According to the MoHaP first NAH, the UAE has topped the Gulf, Arab and Eastern Mediterranean countries in terms of the Current Health Expenditure per Capita The results also showed that the country's health financing system is sustainable, with the mandatory spending reaching 83% of the total spending on healthcare “Providing a healthy life for every individual and family in the society tops the priorities of the UAE government; this is why we are today one of the best countries in the world" - Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand

While the UAE has come to be known for breakthrough developments and investments in the fields of technology, telecommunications, and real estate, it has also been building new ‘roads’ in the field of healthcare. 

Yesterday, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced the results of the UAE’s first-ever National Health Account (NHA) 2017, which was carried out in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health and government authorities. 

“National health accounts (NHA) constitute the systematic, comprehensive and consistent monitoring of resource flows in a country’s health system. NHA are often the only information about national spending levels in health, both in absolute and relative terms,” the WHO explains. 

The results were announced during a virtual media briefing with any notable members of the health sector.

According to the MoHaP first NAH, the UAE has topped the Gulf, Arab and Eastern Mediterranean countries in terms of the Current Health Expenditure per Capita. The results also showed that the country’s health financing system is sustainable, with the mandatory spending reaching 83% of the total spending on healthcare.

Image: MoHaP

Here’s a summary of the findings: 

  • UAE ranks first in the Gulf, Arab and the Eastern Mediterranean countries in terms of total per capita health expenditure;
  • Compulsory Financing Arrangements comprised 82.6% of the Current Health Expenditure (CHE), six points higher than the average percentage of CFA in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development);
  • Total domestic expenditure on health hit AED 57 billion in 2017;
  • UAE reports 26% increase in total expenditure on health compared to 2016.

Read: You will get the needle soon! A look at COVID-19 vaccination dates in the GCC

Current Health Expenditure (CHE) increased by 26%

According to Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary of Health Centers and Clinics, the Current Health Expenditure (CHE) increased by 26%, to AED 57 billion ($15.5 billion) in 2017, compared to AED 45 billion ($12.2 billion) in 2016, as per WHO statistics. The results also found that the per capita Health expenditure run to AED 6,128 ($1,669), with a similar growth rate of 26%, up from $1,323 in 2016. 

He added that the CHE as a per cent of GDP is making up 4.0%, with a 14.3% increase compared to 3.5% in 2016, which confirms a faster pace of growth in the health sector than the GDP.

Al Rand went on to say that “the Out of Pocket (OOP) Expenditure as a percent of CHE dropped by 36% reaching 12.2% in 2017, down from 19.2% in 2016.” 

OOPs constitute the amount in direct payments patients offer to health care providers at the time of service.

Al Rand noted that this reflects the UAE government’s interest in making healthcare more accessible for all of its citizens, “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.”

Achieving a level of world-class healthcare is one of the 8 pillars of the UAE’s National Agenda 2021, which emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine and seeks to reduce cancer and lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to ensure a longer, healthy life for citizens.

You can find the full report here

Read: Are you ready to be COVID-19 free?