Oman’s social insurance net is working

Energy Saturday 21/July/2018 20:41 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman’s social insurance net is working

Muscat: Oman’s social insurance net has helped almost 700 cases in the first five months of this year, according to figures released by the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI).
Some 679 cases were diagnosed as occupational and non-occupational disabilities in the first five months of 2018, according to the latest report.
The government scheme covers Omanis only, but experts have stressed that expats also have rights to medical cover and insurance - even during the economic downturn.
Article 31 of Oman’s labour law states that business owners must notify the social insurance department within 24 hours of any serious accident in the workplace and to any potential social insurance claims.
In cases where employees are not covered by their employers’ insurance, the employer is then required to pay for their medical treatment.
Should employers refuse to do so, the employees are allowed to sue their employers.
One legal expert said: “It is underwritten in the Labour Law that any expat who comes here to work should have medical insurance. During the downturn, many companies were unable to meet the payments for cover, but are still honouring their commitment to employees on a case-by-case basis.”
While some expat medical cases slip through the net, the government PASI scheme is fool-proof, according to a spokeswoman.
“Some employees may suffer from a particular disease and believe it constitutes a disability,” said Shamsa Al Tamimi, Head of Work Injuries and Occupational Diseases at PASI.
However, upon examination, some are proven to be capable of working. “The medical committee determines whether the person is capable of performing his work as a result of the disease, and whether or not their condition will negatively affect productivity, their colleagues, or the institution they work for,” she added.
Sixteen per cent of the cases reviewed this year were not approved by the medical committee, as the claimants were found capable of working.
In Oman, those who suffer from occupational and non-occupational disabilities are entitled to receive a pension, alongside the right to seek work suitable to their proven condition.
“Cases of fraudulent medical reports are rare, because the reports must be issued by specialised government hospitals,” explained Al Tamimi.
Ministry of Health
“If the patient is being treated abroad or at a private hospital, the report must then be certified by the Ministry of Health before PASI receives it.”
According to the PASI report, bone and joint conditions remain the most common causes of medically-induced retirement, accounting for around 21 per cent of all cases, with 14 per cent caused by neurological diseases.
Psychiatric illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia, are responsible for a further 10 per cent of all retirements.
Tumours account for 6 per cent of proven cases, while eye diseases account for 9 per cent.
PASI protects workers through a number of laws, including the Regulations on Occupational Safety and Measures.
Under the law, workers at risk of contracting occupational diseases must be re-examined and, in such cases, the injured worker must be provided with other tasks commensurate to his new health status, if recommended, with no worker suffering from an occupational disease allowed to return to work until a medical examination proves he is healthy enough to do so.