May 17, 2020

Dubai launches its first medical clinic for taxi drivers

Health
healthcare services
healthcare
healthcare services
Catherine Sturman
2 min
With nearly 4,000 vehicles, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, drivers in the UAE are working in an increased competitive market, with longer ho...

With nearly 4,000 vehicles, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, drivers in the UAE are working in an increased competitive market, with longer hours and an increased tourist market, affecting their long-term physical and mental wellbeing.

With this in mind, the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched, at its headquarters in Muhaisna, a medical clinic in cooperation with Life Line Co. It has become the first government clinic, which is now fully supportive of drivers in the Emirate, and will provide medical advice and preventive medical care to drivers, adopting high healthcare standards.

To ensure exceptional customer service and provide a strong, positive staff morale, Dr Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation has said, “This newly opened clinic is part of DTC’s strategy to broaden the scope of its services on offer to cab drivers and meet their needs. It also adds to the series of achievements made by the DTC towards enhancing the happiness and job satisfaction of its employees including drivers.”

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Delivering quality and excellence throughout its operations, “the clinic is fitted with all necessary resources to serve the medical and healthcare needs of all drivers including x-ray machines and a diagnostic laboratory. It has a team of medical professionals specialised in general medicine (GPs) as well as specialists in orthopaedics, ophthalmology, pulmonary & cardiac diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and venereal diseases. It has a dedicated ward for critical conditions for lifting them in a fully equipped ambulance to the nearest hospital,” explained Al Ali.

“The Clinic has a hotline with the Dubai Health Authority to keep up-to-date with the developments of precautionary health measures. The Clinic opens daily from Saturday to Thursday, from 7 am to 11 pm, and on Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm. A plan is in place to open an affiliated pharmacy so that cabbies can easily obtain their prescribed medicines,” concluded the CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation.

 

 

 

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Jun 21, 2021

How health plans can reduce healthcare inequalities

healthcareinequalities
COVID19
healthplan
sdoh
4 min
Jim Clement from Inovalon on the role of health plans in improving access to healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has put inequalities accessing the healthcare system in the spotlight. Jim Clement, Vice President of Product & Services at cloud provider Inovalon, tells us that health plans play the most integral role in advancing the health equity movement.

Why did it a global pandemic to highlight the issue of healthcare inequities? 

Health inequity in the US has been well understood by healthcare professionals for many years, but it has become more evident due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It wasn’t until the racial and ethnic differential seen in response to COVID-19 related infections, deaths and vaccinations that many Americans became acutely aware of the health inequity due to sociodemographic factors such as race, geography, education and income.

Fortunately, there’s now a growing health equity movement afoot in America which aims to improve public health and achieve equity in health status for all people by ensuring opportunities are available to attain the highest level of health. While the entire healthcare ecosystem is important to this transformation, it is health plans that arguably play the most integral role.

How can health plans help? 

Achieving health equity means obstacles to health must be removed, including poverty, discrimination, powerlessness, and lack of access to the basics like physicians, hospitals, medicine, technology, and health education. This is not only a social justice initiative, but also a clear call to action for health plan organisations that are bearing the economic brunt of the costs due to health disparities. 

Health plan organisations that recognise the alignment between efforts to improve health equity and broader member engagement initiatives will be in the best position to move the needle. Plans must also understand that the provision of medical services within hospital walls, physician offices and other health services providers is necessary, but not sufficient. 

By recognising that health inequity also includes non-medical factors such as employment, income, housing, transportation, childcare, and more, plans will be better equipped to ensure their members are set up for success. 

What do healthcare providers need to do generally to address inequities? 

Outreach by both health plans and providers is critical to ensuring people have knowledge of available services, the reason those services are critical to their health, and options to access those services based on their unique circumstances. With both stakeholders beating the same drum, progress can be made quickly.

Given the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH), should healthcare providers take a more active role in addressing these, or other agencies? 

While communicating with patients is critically important, what is truly required to address inequalities is helping patients take medical  actions – like regular PCP visits, monitoring A1C and accepting health coaching – that are necessary to maximise their health, along with non-medical actions –like availing themselves of community resources that address homelessness, food insecurity and employment services. 

The most progressive providers and payers have or are putting in place programs to address these non-medical issues.  In addition, non-medical tools such as transportation services can certainly help drive the effectiveness of medical services. 

How important is it to educate patients about their health and how can this be done? 

Education is a social determinant of health and a key lever to be used to drive health equity.  Patients who do not understand their medical conditions or the consequences of non-compliance with their treatment plans are prone to poor outcomes. 

For health plans, understanding member needs is one of the biggest drivers of quality care. A continuous cycle of engagement through feedback and appropriate responses will provide health plans with an opportunity to uncover, discuss, and resolve problems faster. 

Improving member outreach and engagement can be made easier with a programmatic approach involving four stages of intentional outreach: Getting to know your members, educating members, seeking feedback from members and gaining member loyalty. Each stage not only contributes to a better member experience but also to improved outcomes and higher satisfaction scores.

Now that the issue has come to the fore, what do you think things will look like in 5 years or so?

I predict that health plans that get member engagement, education and equity right will achieve better health and greater value, faster. Those who get it wrong or delay will suffer the consequences of competitive disadvantage and pay a larger share of the rising costs associated with health inequity.

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