Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman hosted today the Ninth Meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee, and the 86th General Conference of the GCC and Yemen Health Ministers Council in its forty-eighth session.
The opening program of the 9th Meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee included a speech delivered by Dr. Hilal Ali Al Sabti, Minister of Health where he welcomed the delegations and stressed that the meeting is part of the GCC endeavors towards promoting cooperation in health sector in order to improve the provision of health services to the level of excellence thus keeping abreast with the rapid progress in technology (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things), and promote joint action process to develop the system of this vital sector in the Gulf.
The Health Minister pointed out that the meeting’s agenda addresses key topics which will achieve positive impact of the decisions of 36th session of the GCC Supreme Council held in Riyadh on December 2015 on promoting integration of the gulf joint action process.
Dr. Al Sabti added that the meeting’s agenda will put emphasis on the significance of seeking further integration in specialized services among the GCC countries.
The meeting, said that minister, will highlight the importance of activating telemedicine clinics among various specialties in GCC countries hospitals with rare specialties.
On his turn, Jasem Mohamed Al Budaiwi, the GCC Secretary General delivered a speech where he said that data and statistics confirm the GCC commitment to the health development issues, which is notably marked in their ability to achieve some of the objectives of the third goal of Sustainable Development Goals on ensuring healthy lives and well-being for everyone.
He affirmed that the GCC efforts to achieve universal health coverage by providing health and human resources for the health systems have ensured people’s access to the various levels of health services.
The ninth meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee approved the agenda of the meeting and endorsed number of draft resolutions submitted from Health Undersecretaries Committee.
The meeting addressed a number of health issues and topics of mutual concerns including visa medical examination, following up the implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), Health Cities, registration and classification of health specialties, in addition to the strategic dialogues among the GCC countries and the establishment of a Virtual Gulf Health Center.
During the meeting, the Saudi Ministry of Health’s proposal on recognizing March 2nd of every year as World Health Martyr Day was reviewed.
In addition, the meeting discussed the Sultanate of Oman’s proposal on the specialized services integration among the GCC countries that aims at benefiting from Health Centers of Excellence and strengthening complementarity in specialized services among the GCC countries. This would allow the rest of the GCC countries to access the services of any Gulf specialized center at a lower cost compared to when seeking treatment abroad in non-Gulf countries while ensuring the quality of service.
The specialized centers include corneal transplantation/retina treatment centers, cochlear implantation centers, organ transfer and transplantation centers, joint replacement centers, cancer centers, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention centers (Intervention Medicine), spine centers, brain and nerve centers, cardiology centers, fertility centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation centers, public health laboratories/centers, national training centers for medical and allied medical categories (OMSB / Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, etc.), and toxicology centers.
Furthermore, the meeting addressed the Sultanate of Oman’s proposal on activating telemedicine clinics for rare specialties among Gulf countries. The proposal aspires to create a joint electronic platform for all GCC countries on clinical consultancy so that rare specialties’ physicians can discuss and follow up rare medical cases of various congenital anomalies in newborns and children, and types of cancers that are rare or unresponsive to treatment, and others.
Following the 9th Meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee, the 86th general conference of the GCC and Yemen Health Ministers Council in its forty-eighth session was convened.
Suleiman Saleh Al Dakheel, Director General of Gulf Health Council stated that today’s gathering comes in time where magnificent developments in the health sector are evolving which entail joint work and persistent cooperation to address challenges and achieve success.
He stressed that the joint Gulf action in the health sector has always been of great benefit for the region. The Gulf Health Council Director General elaborated that the meeting is supporting the continuation of the cooperation, aiming at achieving the desired goals, and boosting health services to meet expectations and aspirations of Gulf people.
The Conference reviewed spectrum of draft resolutions submitted from the Executive Board of the Gulf Health Council for endorsement including for instance draft resolution on Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control where the plan of the Gulf CDC 2024 was approved along with approving to share related health data that is being shared with the World Health Organization with the GCDC for the purpose of risk assessment and studying the burden of morbidity and mortality. The collaborative action mechanism (tawasul) with the GCC Health Ministries was also approved.
Regarding medical examination of expatriates coming to GCC, updates of the Rules & Regulations of Wafid medical test program were approved. Moreover, the meeting endorsed the new codification of items system of Gulf joint procurement programme instead of the old codification. It was also decided, with regard to the registration of medical devices and supplies and manufacturing companies, to approve the Gulf regulations for the registration of medical devices and supplies.
Moreover, it was decided to approve restructuring of the pay and benefits and develop the organizational structure and governance with an expert house.
With regard to central registration, it was decided to adopt the update of the change requests guidelines, approve the updated request form for canceling a centrally registered product.
Moreover, the Conference endorsed resolution on updating the inspection mechanism for the pharmaceutical and veterinary factories and products, as well as factories of medical supplies and devices. On medication pricing, it was decided to approve the updated price certificate form for the reference countries in Health Council to be (18) countries.