Expatriate employees based in the Emirate of Dubai look set to experience major changes to the way they utilise health insurance in the region, after officials signed a new agreement on the topic.
Under the new plans, healthcare and more specifically health insurance will be a compulsory requirement for anyone living in or visiting the region.
This change of rules will apply to anyone resident in any of the free zones within the Emirate.
The change was announced by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and will see the region follow in the footsteps of other nations in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and most recently Qatar.
According to the new announcement, these major changes look set to come into force gradually, with phased implementations due to commence in 2014 and ultimately conclude in 2016.
It's part of a renewed effort by Dubai officials to offer a more universal healthcare service that caters to residents while offering expatriates access to a medical plan that services their specific needs.
Published by zawya.com, the rumoured changes will see individuals tasked with complying to health insurance requirements prior to being granted either residency or a visit visa.
The plan will see a basic health plan with mandated minimum coverage provided as standard, with the option of enhanced cover for those businesses seeking that extra bit more.
DHA rules dictate that an official annual permit will be required by any insurer, TPAs, healthcare providers or brokers keen to practice medical business of this kind in the Dubai region.
In an additional, but similarly fascinating move, the DHA is also set to produce a special approved price list for those accessing medical services with providers expected to stick to the new pricing system.
The change can only be good news for expatriate workers, with the emphasis placed on employers to ensure a minimum policy is in place. This latest change could have far reaching effects too, with other countries in the region likely to follow suit.