As per the CEO of Abu Dhabi-based healthcare group Capital Health, Women in the UAE will probably get advantage from a rise in maternity insurance as more private firms gives coverage.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Dr Mishal Al Kasimi told he has seen an increase in the trend in the last five years.
He said, “Insurance is starting to cover maternity more for women who work in the private sector. Five years ago, less companies were covering maternity. Now, the trend is seeing more companies covering maternity, which removes challenges for employees to pay out of their own pockets.”
While more companies are taking the issue of maternity insurance more seriously, Dr Al Kasimi told the rise is not high sufficient, including = that the private sector is “not quite there yet” when it comes to offering anticipating mothers coverage.
The average cost of giving birth in government hospitals is over AED6,000, while prices in private hospitals range from AED11,000 for a standard delivery room and can run as high as AED22,000 for a VIP room.
Dr Al Kasimi told the UAE’s rates are in line with international standards, and expats are given enough “reasonably priced” choices to select from.
He also said, “There are a lot of different packages depending on what type of room you want. But there are enough hospitals and programs that expats could choose from that offer good prices.”
The chief executive included that employees should converse maternity insurance at the time of job interviews.
He added, “When being interviewed [for a job], people need to talk about [maternity coverage]. People focus so much on their salaries, but do not talk about their insurance. Five years ago, we wouldn’t have even discussed it. But now, some companies are offering it and I think it will get more covered as women demand for it more in the next five years. We will see an uptake in that.”
While many expats decide to deliver abroad for fear of high pricing and insufficient care in UAE hospitals, Dr Al Kasimi anticipates more women to give birth in the country as awareness surrounding reasonable pricing and high quality increases.
He further said, “Most expats feel comfortable to deliver [in the UAE] today. As you know, giving birth is more than just a medical process. It’s a family event and it’s a huge milestone in a family. Sometimes the main reason people decide to leave is because they want to be surrounded by family in their home country.”
He added, “The other fact is that previous perceptions were that the UAE’s hospital systems are not equipped or ready for deliveries, but today we provide the same quality as the US, Canada and Europe.”
He also explained that while many people perceive the paper work for new born babies to be “complicated” many elements are done in ease in the UAE.
He also added, “Those were drivers early on but they are changing. Now the process is easy. A lot of women tend to do their research and homework. They know there are great facilities and that the process to register your baby is now nice and easy to do. So you will see an upward trend of a lot of people delivering here. I can guarantee you that you can have world class birth here in the UAE at a reasonable cost.”
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