Bahrain's National Health Insurance Scheme (Sehati) will be presented to the government in mid-2020 and implemented in the second half of next year at the earliest.
Mr Ebrahim Nawakhtha, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), said that consultants will develop the implementation plan for the execution of the Scheme, reported Gulf Daily News.
Once Sehati is launched, Bahrainis will continue to be eligible for free services at public health facilities. Bahrainis could pay an additional insurance premium to access private sector treatment.
Expats will be covered by insurance paid for by their employers, which will entitle them to treatment at private and public facilities.
Mr Nawakhtha explained that two different consultants were hired to ensure streamlined procedures for both nationals and expatriates. The latter form a large part of the population.
The consultants work under the direction of the Social Health Insurance Fund Authority (SHIFA) in close co-ordination with all stakeholders of the National Health Insurance Scheme, including insurance companies, private healthcare facilities, government entities associated with expats like the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, as well as employers.
SCH chairman Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Marsh Bahrain chief executive Abed Qasas have signed a contract to develop the scheme.
“We are happy to provide support to the national health insurance programme according to the best professional standards and will work closely with the SCH and all partners for the success of the national pilot project in Bahrain,” said Mr Qasas.
Mr Nawakhtha said, “As per the plan, under the system developed by the company (Marsh Bahrain), all expats will be covered by insurance according to the law, which are all those who are (covered by insurance) paid for by their employer or sponsor.”