Bahrain's proposed mandatory health insurance scheme is expected to be implemented fully next year, according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, chairman of the Supreme Council of Health.
The medical insurance scheme was approved in the last quarter of 2016.
Mr Al Khalifa, speaking at the Dubai Health Forum held earlier this week, stressed the importance of developing policies and procedures for the scheme to ensure its effective sustainability.
He pointed out Bahrain is paying considerable attention to the development and construction of a health insurance programme and the provision of funding for it.
He pointed to the health challenges facing Bahrain, including a high rate of obesity that is as much as 36%, and the death of many individuals because of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Previous media reports have mentioned that the national health insurance system for the entire population was to begin this year.
Funding for the new system will be from the government for Bahraini GCC nationals and their domestic staff. Funding related to coverage for other foreign workers will come from additional mandatory employer work permit fees.