Screenings for all

Offering free screening programmes for everyone will improve society as a whole

Free health screenings should be offered to all UAE residents to improve early diagnosis of disease and better outcomes. Silvia Razgova / The National
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Most doctors agree that preventive medicine is one of the best forms of medicine. Detecting diseases in their early stages not only means there is a better chance of treatment, but it also makes economic sense in the long run for the health sector.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, as reported in The National, has taken a similar line. It argues that free health screenings should be offered to everyone regardless of their economic background. Such an initiative would facilitate early diagnosis of disease and would probably ensure better outcomes.

Currently, regular screenings are not included under basic insurance schemes, which reduces the number of people who could benefit from early diagnosis. People who need screenings often have to pay the first 20 per cent of costs, which means they are unlikely to be screened. The health authorities already provide some degree of free screening, but it is in all our interests for that provision to be expanded.