Health Insurance: facts & aspirations [Archives:2005/871/Health]

August 25 2005

By Mujid Radman
General Manager
for the Yemen Times

Health Insurance is an important topic which has recently surfaced as a major subject for discourse by all those employed by both the public and the private sectors companies, corporations, especially individuals concerned with declarations from official public sources talking – from proximity – about the necessity of initiating of compulsory health insurance.

The importance that health insurance portrays in the economies of developing countries encompasses an important drive and conviction for those who possess the power to initiate health insurance program, considering that improvements in the standard of living for citizens demands interest in health care,

“the right of every citizen”. Persons enjoying peace of mind are those confident of receiving suitable health care for themselves, their children and family members and are those capable of working and producing. This is why our government has embarked on the task of a study in connection with health insurance for all its citizens.

What is expected from Health Insurance?

– participation in the establishment of a fair and equitable distribution of health services to all citizens irrespective of affiliation to party, place, size, type of corporation or company employed with;

– participation in the establishment of mental, social, and economic stability for all social ranks of laborers and citizens;

– participation in the improvement of the standard of health services offered to citizens by volume and quality, thus reducing pressure on the free public resources provided by the public health services and the creation of an adequate supplement for the provision of good quality and reasonably priced health services;

– participation in the provision of sufficient financial revenues to fund the health sector to contribute to the reduction of burden on public funds, provided by the government, to corporations and companies or the individuals responsible for providing treatment for those working for them;

– participation in the provision of more job opportunities in the insurance sector within the authorities that provide health services;

– participation in supporting the national economy by the creation of more investment opportunities in the health sector and its various affiliated branches and thus encourage investors to invest in health projects;

– participation in the rise of ratios of health manpower, their families and health entities in compliance with the increasing rate of population;

– interest in preventative health comprehension and concentration on it as a focal point and on early health care, leading to the elevation of health standards and the de-escalation of disease ratios and decreasing expenditures in the exorbitant costs of treatment;

From the experience of advanced governments like America and Japan that have in recent times resorted to the utility of modern types of health insurance to defray medical costs in reducing the burden on its national budget, it can be implied that regardless of economic strength and absorbing capability, no industrially advanced government has found it wise to continue to fully fund the costs of medical care for its citizens. But since projects like these do not evolve to accomplish success from emptiness, the mere issue of a government decree from an authorized source will not suffice to emplace health insurance, inculcate its benefits and exhibit its positivism. It is imperative to emphasize that the realization of these benefits demands the provision of other important factors or building blocks upon which the project can be considered viably successful.

Currently, there is coordination among national insurance companies. A few of these companies has already begun offering health insurance consonant with their experiences and knowledge in this regard.