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IAF proposes independent institution to run health insurance services

1. Picture1
Newly-elected Islamic Action Front secretary-general Murad Al-Adayleh addresses a party meeting, announcing a comprehensive development plan, called “Jordan Vision 2030.” (Photos: Facebook)
AMMAN — The Islamic Action Front party (IAF) proposed setting up an independent public institution to run health insurance services nationwide, similar to the Social Security Corporation (SSC).اضافة اعلان

The proposal, entitled the comprehensive “Jordan Vision 2030, came in IAF’s sixth general assembly meeting, which elected the 18-seat Shura, or consultative council, and the party’s secretary-general.

SSC, however, said the proposal was not viable because health insurance is the prerogative of the corporation and its administration cannot be handed over to another institution.

IAF said the “Jordan Vision 2030” is based on a long-term strategic vision in various economic and social sectors, to be carried out in stages aimed at achieving stable and balanced economic development and sustainable economic, health and social well-being for the Jordanian society in 2030.

The strategic plan includes an extensive section on the health sector and its insurance and proposed IAF’s solutions.

Murad Al-Adayleh, IAF’s newly-elected secretary-general, said health insurance was only a “small part” of the “Jordan Vision 2030”.

The plan, he said, was devised over a period of 30 months by 350 economic and development specialists and comprised approximately 90 strategic objectives, 318 initiatives, and 112 projects in an attempt to correct and rectify imbalances and propose solutions.

IAF hopes that the implementation of the strategy will allow for solving several problems such as unemployment and poverty, improve the social situation in general, and raise the Jordanian economy’s overall growth level, transforming it from a developing to an emerging economy, Adayleh said.

Commenting on the possibility of an institution running health insurance, SSC spokesperson Shaman Al-Majali said “there is little understanding of its dimension to offer an opinion on it”.

He affirmed to Jordan News that health insurance is the duty of the SSC and that it must be obtained through the corporation.

But he noted that it may be possible to have other institutions or entities manage health insurance, but thy must be affiliated with SSC.

He emphasized that health insurance is the fifth type of insurance handled by SSC, following old-age, disability and death insurance, work accident insurance, unemployment insurance, and maternity insurance.

He explained that health insurance is the only type of insurance that has yet to be implemented.

Majali said that the SSC intends to implement this legal requirement, which was intended to encompass insured private-sector workers who do not have health insurance via their institutions, as well as private sector retirees who do not have civil or military retirement.

To accomplish that, the wording in the law must be updated to describe the obligations of each side, and that this step is still being studied by the SSC and its partners, Majali added.

Musa Al-Subaihi, an insurance and social protection expert who attended the IAF meeting, said the idea was “great and necessary, especially since health insurance in Jordan is twisted and scattered”.

He described how health insurance is shared between the Ministry of Health, the Royal Medical Services, university hospitals, the private sector, and the SSC.

According to Subaihi, Jordan’s health insurance system is fragmented, with one-third of Jordanians enjoying health coverage benefits, a second third with no health insurance at all and the last batch with more than one insurance coverage.

The emergence of an independent health insurance institution will regulate the sector for citizens and non-citizens, and control the health insurance expenses that result from the existing tumultuous state in the sector, he said. He added it will also cover people with no healthcare benefits.

He emphasized that such a step can be achieved. “All that is required is will and careful study”, he said. He explained that previous governments and the director of the SSC’s attempts to introduce comprehensive health insurance failed because the issue lacked appropriate studies, scrutiny, and the involvement of experts to establish a solid law capable of controlling the chaos of the current system.

Subaihi said there was a decline in health insurance services in recent years. “This is the responsibility of the government, and it is the time to have an independent body to carry out a fair and balanced health insurance for all,” he said.

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