The Idea and Development behind HAAD (Health Authority Abu Dhabi)

The World Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi showcased the development of one of the most theoretically flawless systems in the modern world today. The healthcare system in Abu Dhabi had previously been a complete mess, and major investments were placed into the system to transform it into one of the most sustainable, patient-driven and effective healthcare systems around.

We heard from two key players from HAAD who described its inherent values and ideas: Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of HAAD and Dr. Philipp Vetter, Head of Strategy of HAAD. Ziad began his talk by providing some wonderful insight into the reform and transformation of the healthcare system of Abu Dhabi. The vision for healthcare in the capital city of UAE was to ensure complete access to healthcare for every individual (national or expats) residing in Abu Dhabi. This vision is accomplished through providing insurance cards to every individual ensuring access. This has resulted in 98% of people in Abu Dhabi having an insurance scheme.

He then spoke on the important topic of transparency, which he describes as being one of the most essential components of a successful healthcare system. The idea of collecting and sharing valid and accurate data on the health information and outcomes is essential to deliver strategic direction and validate the need for coverage, subsidies and creating new facilities, be it curative or preventive.

Overall, the principles being utilized in HAAD are enough to make a free market healthcare system that we see in the US envious, and nationalized healthcare systems like the NHS to question their ideals. It is very rare that the theories learned about in principle, such as transparency, patient driven care, and provider incentives, are actually implemented into a full-fledged system. Zaid agreed the transformation was extremely difficult, however, he ended by saying that the determination and ambition that Abu Dhabi has to have a sustainable, cost-containing system is worth every penny and effort.