|The Impact of Co-Payments on Individual Access to Long-term Care Services in the United Arab Emirates in Comparison to the Middle East|
|Ahmed AlAwlaqi1, Erik Koornneef1, Aiman Gaili1, Mohammed Hammadeh1|
|1Department of Economic; Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE|
CJMB 2019; 6: 421–430
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Keywords : Long term care, Chronic illness, Nursing home, Adult day care, Health care cost
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Over the decades, the delivery of long-term care (LTC) in the Middle East has encountered substantial hurdles due to inadequate resource allocation. As a result, the low-income and uninsured populations have encountered growing challenges in accessing quality healthcare. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of co-payments or out-of-pocket payments on LTC access in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in contrast to other Middle East countries. A quantitative secondary research approach was used in the study to collect relevant data on the topic from government reports, academic studies, and international healthcare institutions. The fndings indicated that long-term healthcare fnancing that largely focuses on out-of-pocket payments has substantial negative economic impacts on low-income households. Growing evidence from low income earning countries like Yemen, Syria, the State of Palestine, and Iraq shows evidence of households pushed into deep destitution and impoverishment due to expensive long-term medical expenses. The condition is worsened in families without insurance cover, among the elderly, and loss of household income resulting from chronic health. As such, the existing LTC fnancing plan in the Middle East largely exposes poor households without insurance cover or government fnancing or subsidies to substantial fnancial burden and poverty. In conclusion, there is an urgent need for research into alternative LTC fnancing strategies for coping with indirect and direct costs of illness to inform better social care policies for poor households in the Middle East.
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