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Jun 2020

UAE: Telemedicine consulting expected to cut health insurance claims

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Jun 2020

Telemedicine consulting has become more widespread in the current COVID-19 pandemic, and its usage is expected to increase even after the end of the pandemic. The online medical consultations would help reduce health insurance claim amounts.
Experts in the insurance sector said this trend will be directly reflected in medical insurance, pointing out that the cost of teleconsulting is about 30% less than traditional consulting. Insurance rates for packages that adopt remote consultations will be lower, reported Al Roeya.
Lockdown measures, imposed as a consequence of the pandemic, have meant that patients are directed to hospitals only in emergency cases, while non-emergency cases are restricted to online communicating with hospitals and doctors for the patient to present his complaint to the doctor and obtain the medical prescription.
Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company (AMAN) CEO Jihad Faitrouni said, “For some diseases and medical conditions, it is necessary to consult directly, and the desired benefit may not be achieved through remote consultation, but that does not reduce the importance of this type of consultation, since most medical reviews are related to general and simple matters.”
He added, “Even medical centres and hospitals that do not have licences to carry out medical consulting work remotely, can do so during this period. The authorities responsible for the sector have allowed this since March, and therefore insurance companies are obligated to pay compensation for these consultations.”
He pointed out that the number of centres that were providing remote consultations was three before the pandemic and has increased to more than 50. M 
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