Warning for expats as Dubai hospital charges deposit

hospital deposits in dubai

A hospital in Dubai has started charging deposits for surgical procedures, in what experts predict is a trend for the region.

A deposit of Dhs5,000, approximately £600, is now being charged for surgical procedures at American Hospital Dubai. This included outpatient treatment that potentially could lead to surgery. This charge is made regardless of whether you have insurance or not. What’s worse is it isn’t refundable by your insurance company, as the deposit isn’t allocated to surgical expenses which would be covered by a health plan.

Jelf Employee Benefits wants to make all employers that have staff in Dubai aware of this specific situation – something the company fears may be a worrying trend in the Middle East and possibly other regions.

This measure, of charging a deposit, has been introduced due to a rise in the number of surgical appointments being cancelled at the last minute for non-medical reasons. The American Hospital states for any surgery a deposit of Dhs5,000 is required from the patient and patients should book a minimum of five days before the intended surgery date. The following are cancellation guidelines issued by the American Hospital:

  • If you cancel 96 hours before the scheduled surgery the deposit will be refunded in full (Dhs5,000).
  • On cancellation between 96 and 72 hours beforehand, 75% will be refunded (Dhs3,750).
  • On cancellation between 48 and 72 hours before the scheduled surgery, 50% of the deposit will be refunded (Dhs2,500).
  • If you cancel 48 hours or less before surgery or are a “no-show” on the day – no money will be returned to you.

Employers with staff in Dubai need to be aware of this new charge so they can plan accordingly. The deposit can be repaid by the insurance company as long as the surgery takes place, but there are stringent rules as to when it won’t be refunded.

Sarah Dennis, international healthcare director for Jelf Employee Benefits says, “Employers with staff in Dubai need to be aware of these new deposit charges so they can decide what course of action to take, which may include choosing a different hospital, or at the very least being prepared for the charge. As ever, we urge employers to take advice from specialists in international private healthcare before placing their insurance.”