The richest of the United Arab Emirates is sponsored ‘pay for health’ program that will encourage disease management companies to take steps such as offering airline miles, discounts for healthy groceries or give cash to people who need to lower their diabetes and subsequent heart complication. The richest sheikhdom is stepping up its efforts to prevent diabetes. It is after the states joined five other Middle East states in the top 10 countries worldwide that linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.
Director of strategy at the Abu Dhabi health authority, Oliver Harrison said that diabetes is their number one public health priority. The Abu Dhabi program will be run by insurers and other business currently completing for the ‘pay for health’ program. There’s 3 winning bidders will be expect by the end of the year.
Abu Dhabi will hand out 1,000 dirham ($272) to the companies for every individual’s 1% reduction in cardiovascular risk.
Economy expertise don’t think habits will change even using this program. It is because of the wealthy population in the state. The program success depend on how the programs are designed and frequently doled out and whether they are in the form of incentives, discounts, penalties or checks in mail.
The main cause of the diabetes epidemic in Abu Dhabi are poor eating habits, lack of exercise and obesity. It also fueled by rapid economic and population growth in the emirate. It also because of traditions of sharing food when visiting family and friends.
The emirate also opened their second diabetes treatment center in partnership with Imperial College London this year but still ineffective. Abu Dhabi already has an online health screening program called Weqaya. Data will be used to determine who has the greatest risk of becoming ill and assign those who need to monitor their health to one of the three disease management companies, Harrison said.
Pay for health is only the starting point for Abu Dhabi. It is also considering improvements in food labeling as well as restrictions of product, bans on smoking, soft drinks and trans-fats and improving walkability of its cities.
It ain’t easy to change human habit. Hope it will success and others state follow this good program.