Dr.Al-Razzaz, The Director General of Social Security Corporation stated that the corporation's board of directors decided in its last session to approve the implementation of health insurance. This will cover pensioners and the contributors to social security that have no other health insurance. In addition, it will establish an independent fund related to health insurance in the corporation, in accordance with the new provisional Social Security Law applicable from the beginning of last May, and to refer the issue to the Council of Ministers.
Al-Razzaz added that the board decided to form a technical committee to prepare a special regulation for the health insurance of pensioners and the contributors to social security. It will insure that the implementation of health insurance will reinforce social safety and will lead to greater protection for employees, especially those working in small and medium sized facilities in the private sector who are still deprived of health insurance.
He added that by implementing health insurance for pensioners, contributors to social security and their families, who are not beneficiaries of other health insurance, and whose number reaches 1.3 million persons, the social protection system will have managed to include old-age, disability, death, work injuries, maternity and unemployment insurances, and last but not least, health insurance.
He indicated that the newly-formed technical committee chaired by the Social Security Corporation represents all the concerned parties, namely the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, Physicians Association, Private Hospitals Association, General Federation of
Jordanian Trade Unions, Pharmacists Association, Insurance Companies Union, Jordanian Association for Health Insurances, Consumer Protection Association, Jordan Industry Chamber, Jordan Commerce Chamber in addition to experts in health insurance.
The former Minister of Health, member of the Higher Health Council and an expert in health insurances, Dr. Nael Al-Ajlouni, stated that the tremendous effort made by the Social Security Corporation to find a financially independent fund for health insurance comes in line with the directives of His Majesty to expand the scope of insurance to cover all sectors of Jordanian society. The government's application of these directives conforms with the sixth theme of its action plan by virtue of which the government undertakes to study the application of health insurance via social security, considering that the Social Security Corporation benefits from a qualified staff and an infrastructure that allows the corporation the make this important national project successful. Al-Ajlouni commended the negotiations held by the Social Security Corporation with all the concerned parties regarding the health sector and insurance. This lead to an agreement of appropriate grounds for the project, and the creation of practical steps to implement an inclusive health insurance.
The President of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, Mazen Al-Ma'aeta, said that for the Jordanian laborer especially, and for citizens in general, the issue of health insurance is a pressing need, similar to that of eating, drinking and clothing. He added that the Social Security Corporation is the most qualified entity to apply this insurance. This is especially important since His Majesty has on many occasions has called for the acceleration of the process to create an inclusive health insurance for all citizens. We are now on the verge of preparing a project for health insurance regulations, and this issue should receive the great care needed, by all the concerned parties, in order to achieve this dream of the Jordanian people.
Dr.Hamzeh, a former Minister of Health and President of the National Jordanian Anti-Smoking Society, said, “This is good news that I have waited 30 years for, I specifically demanded it in a press meeting with one of the daily newspapers with my colleague, the President of the Association of Physicians, Dr. Hassan Kharees, provided that the Social Security Corporation undertakes the management of what I called at that time the, “third fund.” This would follow the example for the two tremendous funds in the Kingdom, namely the health insurance from the Ministry of Health and the health insurance from the Royal Medical Service.”
“Along with other colleagues and associations, we continuously strived to bring this project to light. This effort intensified when I took charge over the Ministry of Health during the second half of the 1980s. Unfortunately, our efforts did not achieve what we had hoped, for many reasons.”
Dr. Hamzeh added, “We are delighted at the decision of the Social Security Corporation to take this step, which is a turning point in the history of health, the health system and health services provided to Jordanian citizens working in the private sector.”
The President of the Association of Physicians, Dr. Ahmed Al-Armoti, stressed that the association supports this approach, and that the health incoming insurance system will serve the contributors to social security. He added that it is a positive step towards serving the labor forces, and those on a low income in the Kingdom. He hoped that this is a step in the right direction to implement social security measures and stability in our dear country.
The former Minister and President of the Private Hospitals Association, Dr. Awni Bashir, stated that it is obvious -praise be to God- that the effort exerted during the last year and a half, under the initiative of the Social Security Corporation, and its Director General, Dr. Omar Al-Razzaz, in cooperation with the institutions most involved in the health insurance sector, the associations and laborers, has succeeded and has now resulted in the practical steps that will create health insurance for pensioners and those who contribute to social security. This major step is a result of His Majesty, King Abdullah II’s directive to develop an inclusive health insurance system for all citizens. He added that, as concerned parties and experts in this field, we would exert a huge effort to make this project succeed, and will cooperate with the Social Security Corporation in its premier project.
The President of the Jordan Consumer Protection Society, Dr. Mohammad Obaidat, described this step as progressive, and said that it comes to fulfill all the needs of the Jordanian citizens. He added that it was an unprecedented step in the Arab region, and that it deserves to be praised as a practical implementation of a consumer’s rights. Furthermore, it reduces the hardship of the poorer classes in Jordanian society, especially considering the continuous rise in costs of medical care. He added that the Consumer Protection Society highly values the efforts of the Social Security Corporation’s efforts in this field.
The Secretary- General of the Jordanian Society for Health Insurances, Fawaz Al-Ajlouni supported the idea of establishing an independent health insurance fund to provide health insurance for pensioners, contributors to social security and their families. He focused on the crucial role of the corporation in terms of its ability to take advantage of its negotiation and contractual capabilities with different parties. This allows them to maintain standards and control costs, which will ensure that the neediest who have no health insurance are targeted in the first stage of implementation.
The President of the Jordanian Pharmacists Association, Dr. Mohammed Shareef Ababneh, indicated that this step fulfills the directives of His Majesty, to reach a stage where all Jordanians enjoy health insurance. He commended the role of the Social Security Corporation, and assured the full support of his association and all other national institutions towards their approach. He added that once this system is applied, it will solve many issues for the providers of health services. It will also help to reduce the cost of treatment and improve and organize the services provided to the citizens.
The President of the Arab Pharmacist Association and the former President of the Jordanian Pharmacist Association, Dr. Taher Al-Shakhsheer, an expert in health insurance, stated that this step moves us in the direction of realizing the vision of His Majesty when he called for an inclusive health insurance system. The undertaking of this role by the Social Security Corporation is an indication of its success in providing social insurances, and it will lead to the successful implementation of the health insurance for the Jordanian citizens. The establishment of the health insurance fund is a national right and a courageous step towards covering the citizens who have no health insurance.