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Healthcare institutions timings extended in Oman

Oman Sunday 14/August/2022 23:45 PM
By: Times News Service
Healthcare institutions timings extended in Oman
Changes have been made as per Ministry of Health’s circular issued in July and effective from August 1.

Muscat: Working hours for the government primary healthcare institutions have been extended to 9.30 pm on week days, a senior official of the Ministry of Health said.

The hospitals, however, will provide healthcare services round the clock.

Mohammad bin Suleiman Al-Ghafri, Head of the Health Centres Affairs department at the General Directorate of Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health, said the decision to organise work at the health centres has been subjected to a number of criteria, including their categorisation into four groups, namely, A, B, C and D.

He continued: “Two basic criteria were considered while classifying the health centres, the first of which is the location of the health centre (whether within the city or in a mountainous area) and second, the availability of beds, inpatient services and childbirth, determining the working hours at these centres.”

Al-Ghafri said the working hours and timings at primary healthcare institutions, which are divided into morning and evening shifts on official working days, begin from 7:30 in the morning and continue till 9:30 in the evening. Work during weekends and official holidays continue till 4:30 pm in just one shift.

Work continues round-the-clock -- in morning, evening and night shifts -- at health centres that provide beds and maternity services, and are located far away from referral complexes and hospitals, usually in remote areas outside cities. This arrangement is as per the circular received from the Ministry of Health in 2013.

These amendments and decisions relating to the working hours of health institutions are part of the initiative to return to the arrangements during normal times or the pre-pandemic (COVID-19) situation, as the Ministry of Health seeks to offer facilities in the best interests of the citizens.

These changes have been made as per a Ministry of Health circular issued in July with effect from August 1, 2022. Dr. Al-Ghafri stated that emergency services do not fall within the basic and direct tasks of the primary healthcare centres, as they are provided at reference hospitals or governorate hospitals, which have an emergency department working round-the-clock.