Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa last week ratified the National Health Insurance Law that paves the way for comprehensive health coverage for all citizens.
Supreme Council for Health (SCH) president, Lieutenant-General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said that the issuance of the new law marked a new era of quality health services for Bahraini citizens and residents, and reflected the kingdom’s aspirations for more development and progress.
The law paves the way for the private sector to compete with the public sector in delivering health services, as well as encourages service providers to obtain national and international accreditation, reports the Bahrain News Agency.
The law aims to provide an integrated, high-quality, flexible and sustainable health system that attracts investment and ensures the right of everyone to choose their health service providers.
Bahrain's proposed national health insurance programme is expected to be implemented in 2019. It will require all citizens, residents and visitors to pay monthly contributions to a medical insurance fund in exchange for access to primary health services in public and private hospitals and medical centres.
In addition, the SCH, in partnership with official agencies in the kingdom, represented mainly by the Ministry of Health, and international think tanks, have prepared the National Health Plan, which sets out a health strategy based on realistic studies of the healthcare needs of Bahraini society.