Olivia Olarte ,
ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi residents will in future only have to present their Emirates ID card when seeking medical treatment following a plan to integrate the health insurance card with the national ID. “We will replace the insurance cards with the Emirates ID cards,” said Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of the Health Authority — Abu Dhabi (HAAD). The HAAD has signed the agreement early this year with the Emirates Identity Authority and is currently working on the system.
With the smart card technology, the individual’s medical history and health information will be incorporated in their Emirates ID card. Al Siksek was speaking on Sunday on the first day of the fifth Abu Dhabi Medical Congress, which he inaugurated at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. According to the HAAD, there has been a significant growth in the number of physicians and facilities across the emirate due to increased demand for health services, driven primarily by increased outpatient encounters.
Private healthcare facilities posted a 14 per cent growth this year, said Al Siksek, adding that expected capacity increases in government hospitals within three years are 600 beds. High demand projections indicate that in 2020, demand for inpatient services may require up to 2,600 additional beds beyond the current 3,600 beds. Adeeb Salem Al Zaabi, manager of Facilities Licensing Department at the HAAD, said there are currently around 800 healthcare and 580 pharmaceutical facilities across the Abu Dhabi emirate.