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Dubai Health Authority launches Basmah, the Dubai Initiative for treating cancer

12/10/2017

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced today the launch of a Basmah initiative, making Dubai the first government entity in the world to provide a complete spectrum of care from screening to treatment for three types of cancer under the basic benefit plan of the Dubai Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme. Basmah is an initiative of the DHA’s Health Funding department and under this initiative, the basic benefit plan of the Dubai Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme now covers screening as well as treatment of breast, colorectal and cervical cancer. Screening is strictly as per international screening criteria. His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the DHA, said: “In line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the DHA aims to provide the highest quality of health services to everyone living in Dubai. In line with the vision 2021 plan, this initiative will help in early diagnosis as screening is now a part of the basic benefit plan, additionally, we will be able to provide financial and emotional support to patients suffering from these three types of cancer. This is possible because of the support of our partners, both government and private. Our aim is to provide the highest level of quality care for patients and to support them the best we can.” Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding, said: “This is a milestone in terms of health insurance coverage and we have redefined health insurance through this initiative. Prior to this scheme, cancer coverage under the mandatory health insurance scheme as part of the basic benefit plan was limited to AED 150,000. Now, that is no longer the case. Under the scheme, those detected with breast, colorectal or cervical cancer will receive coverage from screening until treatment. “Screening is as per criteria which includes several factors such as age of the person etc. If a patient is detected with any of the three cancers during this screening, the DHA Patient Tracking and Follow-Up Centre is automatically notified. They then ensure that the complete treatment process for the patient is smooth and streamlined.” Al Yousuf explained that this was possible because the healthcare fraternity has come together to ensure the economies of scale support such a noble initiative. He said: “As part of the initiative, people will go through criteria based screening. If a patient is detected to have any of the three cancers, the patient will be treated under the Basmah initiative at Dubai Hospital, which is a centre of excellence in cancer care or at a later stage at another recognized centre of excellence in cancer care in Dubai. The patient will receive the same level of treatment as we have ensured unified pathways for cancer care in Dubai.” Prior to this, the funding department recently added screening services for diabetes, heart disease, new born and developmental screening as part of the mandatory health insurance cover. In future, the department hopes to include screening for other diseases such as Hepatitis C.

Wassel Sotak

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