Revealed: Doctor fees up to 6 times higher in UAE

A healthcare cost of living survey also found Bahrain had the GCC’s most expensive medical insurance

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

A trip to the doctor costs six times more in the UAE than Oman, while a dentist visit is four times as much, according to a new report that found Bahrain had the GCC’s most pricey health insurance.

Cost of Living Reports Middle East (CLR) found a mid-level GP visit cost $78.5 on average in the UAE.

The second-most expensive country was Qatar at $54 per consultation at an internationally certified hospital, followed by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ($27) and Kuwait ($26.5).

In Oman, a trip to the doctor costs on average only $13.

CLR said dentist visits were also most expensive in the UAE, at an average $108 for a routine check-up, while the same consultation cost an average $80 in Bahrain, $71 in Qatar and Kuwait, $41 in Saudi and $26 in Oman.

It said the UAE was by far the most expensive country for healthcare but it had “the biggest range though in terms of international hospitals and clinics in the Gulf”.

The report found while health insurance was paid by employers in all GCC countries, Oman was the only country yet to introduce a mandatory health insurance scheme.

CLR found average health insurance fees were highest in Bahrain at $2,312 for individual cover with a local provider, rising to $6,013 for family cover.

This was followed by the UAE ($1,418 and $5,400), Saudi ($1,350 and $4,590), Oman ($780 and $1,950), Qatar ($297 and $2,309) and Kuwait ($266 and $425).

Comparatively, worldwide insurance costs, according to BUPA Gold data, were $2,498 for a 10-year-old child, $5,310 for someone aged 30 and up to $15,500 for a person aged 60-65.

In a separate report on the UAE, CLR noted that UAE public spending on healthcare had increased to above the world average at about 75 percent of total spending in the sector.

It noted that over the next three years the healthcare sector was expected to grow by 16 percent annually, to AED43bn ($11.7bn).

A CLR survey showed that 87 percent of employees were insured in Dubai by employer-sponsored health insurance. Of the 13 percent not covered, 67 percent had purchased their own private insurance, with the remaining mostly semi-skilled workers who have no access to health insurance.

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Posted by: karpakarajan v chettiar

its unfortunate; government is promoting private healthcare; am i getting efficient treatment; or am i over treated @ the cost of my health!

Posted by: Geg Hopkins

They are all the same me thinks. Four year back, I took out a wife and son cover with BUPA. For two years, never claimed a single Fil. On the third automatic renewal, near heart attack shock, BUPA wanted around AED 70.000/year for the same thing. This showed an increased per annum of more than 50%. No credit, no 'no- claims-bonus, no nothing and near AED 100,000 in their pocket so far, but I guess that is the gamble. Of course I reversed the card charge and the BUPA PR lady phoned. 'Well, it is inflation and greater costs; we have to increase, sorry you feel cheated'. The world economy is on its knees are they claim over 50% inflation cost of living. Gulp!
So last year, we tried AXA Gulf here in Bahrain. Single cover, AED 9000. Ok, not so bad. Renewal time came last month. AED 17,000 and even less cover. WHAT!! They are ALL professional rip offs! Stick with the Government hospitals in Bahrain, they are great. Busy and free for all, but great.

Posted by: confused

As this CLR report is drip fed into various articles spread over different days, i cant help wondering how each one says UAE is more expensive but the overall it is not.

That's repors for you.

Posted by: leo50

no surprises here then! Cost of healthcare rising like everything else.

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