UAE residents without medical insurance bear the financial burden of healthcare

Most people, particularly those without health insurance, may find the expense of healthcare in the UAE to be rather high. Costs may add up fast, putting a burden on already tight finances, from regular doctor visits to unexpected medical crises.

A Deira resident named Ahmed Ateeq moved to Dubai a year ago to start a company, but he ran into trouble when he got sick without health insurance. Even though Ahmed's residency and visa were in order, he had neglected to apply for health insurance for some time. That meant he had to pay for everyone's medical bills in December of last year. Consultations, medical tests, and medicines for the initial sickness cost about Dh600. But this was only the start of his financial woes.

In February, Ahmed fell ill again, and this time, he had to pay Dh800 for medical expenses. Within just three months, he ended up spending over Dh1,400 without insurance, highlighting the financial burden of healthcare expenses in the absence of coverage. Eventually, Ahmed managed to obtain insurance for just Dh900 through a broker, which was a considerably lower cost than expected.

Many people living in the UAE have to pay for their own healthcare since they do not have health insurance. Abu Aiza, a Sharjah native whose family just moved to the UAE, voiced his worries over his daughter's lack of health insurance. He related a recent experience in which his daughter's illness caused him considerable financial hardship. He spent about Dh650 for a single visit, which included the consultation fee of Dh350 as well as the cost of any necessary tests or medications.

In the face of such challenges, many residents employ various strategies to manage healthcare expenses. Some turn to community clinics that offer subsidized or free medical services as a cost-effective alternative. Others explore alternative forms of medicine such as homeopathy and ayurveda, which are perceived as more affordable options. Regardless of the approach taken, the aim is to alleviate the financial strain associated with healthcare expenses in the UAE.

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