Qatar Today - - COVER STORY -

In a mo­nop­oly, the in­sur­ance provider fixes the price and the providers have to ac­cept what­ever is on of­fer. Abuse should be avoided from both sides, Bourel says, and providers should be paid fairly for their ser­vices. “They should be paid for in­vest­ing in de­vel­op­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ex­per­tise and spe­cial­ties. Pay­ing bare min­i­mum prices might be seen by the govern­ment at first glance as a pos­i­tive be­cause it re­duces costs but that is a very short-term view. Be­cause you are cre­at­ing the risk of hospi­tals not in­vest­ing any­more be­cause they are cut­ting costs ev­ery­where, or there is cost-shift­ing, or fo­cus only on ser­vices where good mar­gins can be found. Two years down the line, we don't want Qataris to have to fly to Dubai for a pro­ce­dure that isn't avail­able in the coun­try. Data col­lec­tion and qual­ity also suf­fers in a mo­nop­oly. It is bet­ter than build­ing some­thing that is too big for one en­tity to han­dle, lead­ing to un­happy providers, de­clin­ing qual­ity and un­sat­is­fied pa­tients.”

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