By Joanna Hartley
Private health providers lose up to AED40,000 in aftermath of failed electronic data move.
Some private sector health providers across Dubai say they have been left thousands of dirhams out of pocket in the aftermath of a failed health authority-run electronic data reporting scheme.
Affected clinics are angry that the Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS) has made no moves to see them reimbursed for software that was necessary to fully comply with the data collection system.
Launched in July, the system was stopped in September by the DoHMS as a result of physicians' concerns over patient privacy.
The decision left those that bought extra software from a company called Tendercare, contracted by DoHMS to develop a unique coding system as part of the scheme, with 40,000 dirhams ($10,890) worth of useless kit.
However, DoHMS has denied any reimbursments are due. A spokesman said all doctors had to do was fill in a five-page online form for every patient, each day - without the need for any extra software.
But facilities seeing hundreds of patients a day say the amount of data required per day would have required a full-time data-entry employee.
Buying the software, which automatically collated the information, was a cheaper and more efficient solution, said Sue Norton, owner of the Dubai Physiotherapy Clinic, which is trying to reclaim a 20,000 dirham deposit.
“It would have taken 30 minutes for each patient and that amounts to a lot if you are seeing 25 patients a day. The only way to do this was to buy the software.” she told MT.
Dr Michael Loubser, owner of Infinity Clinic, Al Wasl Road, who spent the full 40,000 dirhams on software, added: “We are being penalised because we had a desire to comply.”
A DoHMS spokesman said: “They did not have to have the software. I know those services have been bought by the private sector, but they did not have to pay for anything.”
An independent investigation initiated by the authority last month is still to report its findings.