The Korean government has completed establishing a health insurance system worth 31 billion won ($26 million) in Bahrain, having a significant impact on neighboring Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) held an event to celebrate the completion of the “Cooperative Project for Reforming Bahrain’s National Health Insurance System” in Manama, Bahrain, on Wednesday.
Bahrain’s Supreme Council of Health (SCH) held the ceremony to recognize the achievements of the Bahrain project, Korea’s first export of the health insurance system and the operating system. Noh Hong-in, director-general of the Bureau of Public Health Policy at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, attended the event.
More than 200 international healthcare experts, including Kamiar Khajavi, executive director of the Joint Learning Network (JLN), participated in the ceremony, celebrating Korea’s successful promotion of its health system, the government said.
The contract between Korea and Bahrain for the establishment of the health insurance system is valued at 31 billion won.
Under the health system project with 18.2 billion won upfront payment going to HIRA, Bahrain successfully built the pharmaceutical management system, the health insurance information system, the medical information utilization system, and the core system related to evaluation such as national medical information repository for 28 months from March 2017 to July 2019.
For the follow-up project, the Korean government signed a 13.6 billion-won deal with Bahrain’s SCH for five-year maintenance on Sept. 9. Korea plans to continue to provide integrated system management and technical support.
The project is expected to help manage drugs effectively and use medical information properly in Bahrain, ministry officials said. It will also improve the quality and expenditure efficiency of Bahrain's healthcare services, they added.
The completion of the project is particularly an opportunity to export the Korean health insurance review system to other Middle East countries that are pushing for a reform in the healthcare system, the officials said.
Saudi Arabia is showing a keen interest. In June, Korea’s health and welfare ministry and its Saudi Arabian counterpart signed a memorandum of understanding on health insurance cooperation
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