UAE expats to be charged $136 for health cards

Cards entitle holders to a discount on healthcare at government facilities

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

UAE expatriate workers will have to pay an annual fee of AED500 ($136) to renew their health card and AED300 for a replacement if lost, according to a new decree issued on Tuesday.

“Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a Cabinet decision No.18 for 2013 with respect to the fees of health card and curative and diagnostic services for non-nationals,” the WAM news agency reported.

“According to Article (2) of the decision, which was published in the recent issue of the federal official gazette, the fees of issuing and renewing a health card for non-nationals will be Dhs500 per year for all age categories. A fee of Dhs300 will be levied for the issuance of a health card in lieu of a lost one,” it said.

Health cards allow non-national holders to get a 50 percent discount on healthcare at government facilities.

According to the Dubai Health Authority website, expatriate health card fees for those aged up to 10 years old is AED110, AED210 for those aged 10 to 18 and AED310 for non-nationals aged 18 years and over.

The new fees will come into effect in 60 days.

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Posted by: Hari

The day they say we the expats have to go. there is no denying abt it. But the concern is 500 dh for many marginal labourers which most of the firms charge the poor labourer. And i hope when u say drain of resources i hope u r ready to take up jobs which expats do not just the lucratives ones.

Posted by: DNS

Your beloved country, Jassimalh? then start working at the lowest of the lowest jobs in the country, i.e. jobs like drivers, cooks, cleaners, labourers. After all, you should be proud of doing any job in your country.. just like how other country nationals would do the same.

Posted by: jassimalh

why don't you just go now Hari? leave UAE alone. stop criticizing our beloved country!!!!!!

Posted by: Lone Star

I remember a time when poverty was defined as having very little means, no car, no cellphone, living on handouts, etc. I was moving out of my house once and wanted to donate my old-style but fairly new TV (Flat but CRT-based) to the mover... thinking that he could use it. In fact, he looked down on me and said that he would only consider a Plasma/LCD TV, then he got out his iPhone and started talking to his colleague. My housemaid has a better cellphone than me. Times have changed...

Posted by: Faisal

@ Khalid, some expats spewing venom and invective on forums and behind closed doors is nothing new, what is disturbing is the increased trend of such a phenomena, isn't it time the UAE apply the suggested quota to restrict the influx of the perennially frustrated foreigners and reduce the ever increasing drain on resources???

Posted by: Mark Renton

Faisal, I think you will find that, far from being a "drain on resources" the foreigners in the UAE actually make a significant net positive contribution to the economy.

Think of all the expats that make your money-making businesses run (Emirates, Dubai Ports, tourist industry etc.). And all the professional types who base themselves in Dubai but service clients throughout the rest of the Middle East. They are all bringing in money from outside the UAE, on top of which they are paying rent to local landlords and being charged fees for residency and every other government service.

We saw very clearly in 2008-10 what happens when the foreign population of the UAE declines. The local economy contracts significantly.

The idea of every expat as a wage slave who takes money from the local economy and remits it home is out of date, and in truth was never very accurate in the first place.

Posted by: Matt Williams

I can only agree that this charge is more than reasonable and I also agree with local sentiment here and that is if you don?t like it go elsewhere. I personally have private medical insurance which is adequate however can see the benefits at 500 or even a 1000 given charges elsewhere. if you want to moan about this charge then really you should go. As far as those on low incomes such as laborers I do see that this charge would be troublesome however their employers should handle this increase and not pass it on, however that would be a perfect world scenario.

Posted by: kingkaiser

Matt, no one posting here is impacted by this. However, we all feel for those who will be. The most impoverished members of society, who are already struggling to survive.
Let me state, on a personal level, I do not care about this - I have insurance and will not be impacted at all. I care for the poor guys I see working in my building, in my car park, in Dubai mall etc. These are the guys who will be hurt by this, and these guys have no voices.

Posted by: Mark

Dhs 500 for excellent healthcare! You are crazy if you think that is not good value for money. SRH have put me back together several times over the years and their Physio Dept is 2nd to none! To put things into perspective, the 'non covered' treatments/drugs that an insurance company will 'negotiate' from you will be many times Dhs 500!

Posted by: tony

Mark, it is not a health card. It just gives you a 50% discount if you need to get treated at a govt. hospital. Also, not all expats will need this card. This is only for people who are not insured by the companies that they work for.

And of course, this is only for expats and not Emiratis.

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