Muscat: Compulsory national health insurance could be in place by early next year, according to the head of the Oman Medical Association.
Speaking at a press conference held over the upcoming Oman Health Exhibition and Conference, Dr. Waleed Al Zadjali, head of the Oman Medical Association, said, “Compulsory national health insurance will be introduced from January 2019 if all its requirements are met.”
The national insurance system will make it compulsory for any company in the country to provide its employees with health insurance,” said Al Zadjali, adding, “Establishing such insurance ensures that the rights of patients, businesses, and doctors are preserved; a system like this was never in place and is very important.”
National health insurance, medical errors, and medical ethics are among the topics that will be discussed at next month’s conference.
Last year, the Council of Ministers reached a decision to make mandatory health insurance a necessity for all residents and citizens in the country.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Nasr Al Salhi, Director of the Valuation and Risks Surveillance department at the Capital Market Authority, said, “Health insurance is not easily implemented, the Council of Ministers has directed the authority to cooperate with different bodies to implement the system.”
“The foundation of the project is still in progress,” he said, adding, “This includes linking insurance companies to hospitals to ensure there are no cases of manipulation. We are also working on an electronic system that will specify the prices of medication and treatments, so that insurance companies do not increase prices, which will have an effect on the private sector; all these issues must be taken into consideration before implementation.”
“To implement a system on such a large scale takes time; we do not want to implement the national health insurance without any preparation,” Al Salhi added.
The relevant bodies that are working with the Capital Market Authority on the national health insurance include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Manpower, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, insurance companies, health services providers in Oman and the Oman Medical Association.