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UAE mandates nationwide health coverage for private sector workers

UAE mandates nationwide health coverage for private sector workers

Dubai: The private sector employees and domestic workers in the UAE will soon be covered under a mandatory health insurance scheme, starting January 1, 2025. This move aims to ensure accessible healthcare for all residents and enhance the overall well-being of the workforce.

The announcement of the mandatory health insurance scheme was made following the approval by the UAE Cabinet, signalling a crucial step towards safeguarding the health of employees across various sectors.

Under the new scheme, both private sector employees and domestic workers without existing health coverage will benefit from comprehensive insurance plans. This initiative is poised to positively impact a significant portion of the UAE's workforce, providing them with essential healthcare services.

Employers will bear the responsibility of covering the health insurance expenses of their registered workers. This requirement will be enforced during the issuance or renewal of residency permits, ensuring compliance across all sectors.

While Abu Dhabi and Dubai already have laws mandating health insurance for employees, this new UAE-wide scheme will standardize coverage and extend it to private sector workers and domestic staff nationwide. Awareness campaigns and programmes will be launched to educate stakeholders about the scheme's benefits and implementation procedures.

This initiative marks the second mandatory insurance scheme introduced for employees in the UAE, following last year's implementation of a scheme protecting workers from job loss. Currently, more than 7.2 million employees from both private and federal government sectors are enrolled in the scheme.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, said, “Today, we approved a new structure for the MoHRE, including establishing a coordinating council for the labour market in the UAE, to maintain its stability and enhance its competitiveness. The workforce is the real engine of the economy, and monitoring their concerns and protecting their rights are essential elements for advancing our national economy”.

The UAE Cabinet also approved extending the validity period of Emirati passports from five to 10 years for citizens aged 21 and above.

Further, the Digital Wellbeing Council undertook measures to protect the youth from online threats by shutting down over 160,000 websites and social media accounts promoting substance abuse and illicit activities.

Sheikh Mohammed reiterated the vital role of families, media and schools in safeguarding children, emphasizing the need for cooperation to instil awareness and protect the nation's most valuable asset.

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