According to the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulatory body of the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the diseases of circulatory system caused the highest number of deaths accounting for 37.5 per cent of all death cases registered in the Abu Dhabi Emirate. External causes of morbidity and mortality and Neoplasms are the second and third highest causes of death.
Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of HAAD said: “HAAD is building a healthcare system for the people of Abu Dhabi, where all nationals and residents living or working in the Emirate have access to affordable quality of healthcare services.” “Monitoring the overall population health status as well as the performance of the system and gathering all relevant information is the backbone of the system. Through such data, we are able to understand the society’s current and future healthcare needs and analyse capacity gaps to make the right set of decisions,” He added.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the Health Statistics for Abu Dhabi Emirate for the year 2011, Dr. Oliver Harrison, Director of Strategy said: “The Health Statistics presents a clear picture of the past and present situation in the healthcare sector in the Emirate, which helps us make regulatory decisions and track the progress in achieving and monitoring improvements and gaps in the health care sector. The improved quality of data now allows us to provide more details on the overall population health status, performance of individual healthcare entities and financing of the system.” The Health Statistics, published annually since 2008, report on population trends, public health highlights, and investor developments. Two key areas of interest include performance of the Emirate in delivering diabetes care, as well as the clinical performance of individual doctors.
The statistics shows that the road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death amongst young males in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi accounting for 12 percent of all registered death cases in the year 2011. The statistics also shows that Birth Fertility rates have declined for over 30 years from 4.4 to 2.3 per woman between 1990 and 2007. Declining birth rates are attributed to urbanization, delayed marriage, changing attitudes about family size, and increased education and work opportunities for women.
Cardiovascular diseases accounted for over a quarter of deaths in 2011. Adult Nationals were screened for cardiovascular risk factors in 2008 and early analysis of the results showed obesity rates of 33 percent for males and 38 percent for females and high proportions of people at risk of diabetes and hypertension among UAE National over the age of 15. Cancer on the other hand has caused 14 percent of all death in the Emirate of 2011.
Andrey Timoshkin, Head of Statistics and Modeling at HAAD said, “2011 statistics shows increase in the overall number of diabetics, which can be attributed to better detection of the disease. While some improvements in diabetes monitoring of diabetics can be observed through increased rates of annual medical examinations, the clinical indicators related to treatment of diabetes and related conditions, such as hypertension and obesity, suggest reduction of performance in 2011 comparing to 2010 baseline.” The investor highlights section of the statistics 2011 report states that an aggressive growth in demand is expected for services relating to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer with larger volume increases in outpatient settings.
In terms of supply the number of physicians has witnessed a 3 per cent growth and 11.8 per cent of growth in facilities. Physician productivity indicates however, there are reserves within existing facilities. HAAD demand projections also indicate that by 2030 demand for inpatient services may require up to 1600 additional beds beyond the current 3,659 beds. The actual number required largely depends on how existing providers can improve their efficiency. However, investors hold 42 preliminary hospital licenses which signal significant future capacity to meet this demand.
The capacity gaps section of the statistics report confirms that waiting times have been reduced across most specialties. There is a critical capacity gap in intensive ‘&’ critical care medicine and overall gaps remain in emergency medicine, Neonatology, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics and oncology. Significant new capacity is however anticipated in pediatrics and gynecology. Overall bed occupancy rates vary by facility, but have significantly decreased in aggregate indicating reduced efficiency. Bed occupancy in ICU, NICU, PICU, CICU, CCU and isolation was consistently over the optimal 75 per cent during 2011.
Addressing the capacity gaps issues, Paul Hetherington, Head of Planning at HAAD said, “HAAD launched in 2010 for the first time it’s Capacity Master plan, it defines how health services should be organized in the future. It takes into account the analysis of the current provision of health care and projected future healthcare needs. The Capacity Masterplan identifies gaps in capacity and makes recommendations on how to close them.” A key recommendation of the plan is to focus on empowering patients: Screening programmes should highlight health risks and help residents prevent disease. For those patients who have chronic diseases, there should be support for them and their families to care for themselves, where appropriate. This approach should be supported by targeted services preferably delivered in or close to the patient’s home. This has been shown to improve quality and improve access in remote areas.
Lina Jichi, Head of Health Financing Advisory and Monitoring at HAAD said, “Health Statistics 2011 presents health financial information in the Emirate, which helps insurance companies and health service providers to compare their performance against other entities in terms of number of claims, average claim amount and how quick their claims are paid, to identify rooms of improvement and guarantee their business sustainability. In addition, member premiums and benefits are tracked to give an overview of how affordable health insurance in Abu Dhabi is and what benefits are available for the member. In 2011, average annual premium for the Enhanced product member is around 3,000 AED. ” The competitive enhanced health insurance market has increased to almost 1.05 million members. Over 50 percent of this market is held by three players Daman (31.8 percent) ADNIC insurance (14.4 percent) and Al Dhafra (7.0 percent). Claims per member have risen from 4.58 in 2009 to 5.44 in 2011. On average payers take 47 days to remit AED 1 claimed – This has improved from 55 days in 2010 – Oman, Al Khazna and Alliance had the lowest time to remit, less than 40 days.
While 2011 admissions account for 133K claims; slightly lower than 2010 and 2009 figures, 2011 outpatient claims have continued the upward trend: increasing from 10m in 2009, to 13m in 2010, to 15m in 2011. The increase of outpatient claims count per member occurred across all the three insurance products. In 2011, the average number of outpatient claims per member: 3 for Basic, 5 for Enhanced, and 14 for Thiqa. Average claim amount for a hospital admission 10,861 AED, while average outpatient claim is 300 AED.