United Arab Emirates, Dubai, May 26, 2013: The Dubai Health Authority held today a workshop to discuss the implementation of the National Health Accounts System and its benefits.
The DHA in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Department of Finance, Dubai Statistics Centre and the private sector have been working on steps towards the implementation of the National Health Accounts system, which will help provide accurate data on healthcare investment across the public and private sector in Dubai as well as the average amount spent by Dubai families on healthcare every year.
In the last decade, over 150 countries have carried out the National Health Account Survey (NHAS), which is designed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and helps provide access to accurate and detailed information on healthcare investment and expenditure.
His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority said: “Many countries have effectively used the National Health Accounts to have access to detailed information about the financial status of their health sectors, which is an important tool to make accurate policy decisions that leads to robust allocation of funds. In order to accelerate the process and progress of improving the performance of the health system in Dubai, with the ultimate aim of ensuring significant improvement in the health status of the population, it is important to understand the financial dimensions of the health sector and National Health Accounts (NHA) is an important tool to facilitate this understanding.”
He added that the system helps capture all the money spent on healthcare and over a period of time, once sufficient data is collected, the system can provide advanced data on healthcare trends. “The NHA provides policy makers with detailed information and presents an opportunity to benchmark our healthcare expenditures and trends against other countries in the world.”
Dr Cornelis Van Mosseveld, health economist with the World Health Organisation (WHO) said: “The premise of the National Health Accounts system is that what is consumed by the population is produced by the health sector and is financed and this entire chain of events is tabulated into internationally comparable data on healthcare. The information is mainly financial with a focus on expenditure which includes expenditure of the country on promoting better health, on prevention of illness etc.”
Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding at the DHA said that the system also allows health authorities to gauge the success of new interventions in the health system and understand how the health sector worked before and after the implementation of any healthcare invention. Al Yousuf said that this will be a useful tool when the mandatory health insurance is implemented.
He added that the DHA has chalked out a nine-step implementation process in line with international standards. “The DHA has been working on the implementation of this system since January this year and that by December 2013 Dubai will have its first ‘Health Accounts System' report. The report will be available to both the public and the private sector and will assist in the process of decision making.”
He highlighted that the information received from stakeholders for the National Health Accounts system will be strictly confidential and only certain DHA staff members working on the project will have access to such information. “The data we receive from the public and private sector will be used to build the classifications and tables that meet the international standards set by the World Health Organization. The data received from each stakeholder will be shown at the collective and aggregate levels. For example, the financial information received from the private providers and insurance companies will be compiled and reported as a share from the total health expenditure, and no list of providers or insurance companies and their financial information will be available to the public. However, a general report will be issued so that all the stakeholders have a comprehensive idea of the financial information of the healthcare system in Dubai. The format of the report will also follow the international standards, which focuses only on the aggregate results and their relevance to the decision making process.”
Over 200 participants from 55 entities including public and private health sector, insurance companies etc attended the workshop.
Press release from the Dubai Health Authority