Efforts on to decentralise health services in Oman

Energy Tuesday 25/September/2018 20:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Efforts on to decentralise health services in Oman

Muscat: In an effort to ensure that medical services and support reach every corner of the Sultanate, the Ministry of Health and the Oman Medical Association are calling on all hospitals in Oman to decentralise their operations away from the capital to the interiors.
“We advise everyone, especially private hospitals, to open hospitals not just in Muscat but in the interiors too,” said Dr Waleed Al Zadjali, President of Oman Medical Association.
Currently, there are 11 hospitals just around Muscat that are of excellent standard and have received accreditation.
However, people from all across the Sultanate depend on the hospitals in Muscat for most of their treatment.
“We have an excellent standard of hospitals in Muscat, especially the tertiary hospitals. They have an above 90 per cent success for international accreditation. The only thing is that everybody wants to come to Muscat,” he said.
Speaking about the decentralisation attempts of the ministry, he said, “The Ministry of Health has started decentralisation, where they actually go to different regions and doctors who are in Muscat go there for training and treatments every week.” Certain departments have even opened their centres in different governorates of Oman to ensure convenience and timely treatment and care. “Some of the departments have started to form centres in the interiors so they can conduct all the procedures, especially in the neurology and surgery areas, without the patient having to travel to Muscat,” he said.
Al Zadjali also reiterated the importance of implementing mandatory medical insurance in the nation.
“Medical insurance is a must. We have more than 2 million non-Omanis in Oman and most of them go to private hospitals. If mandatory medical insurance is implemented, it will reduce the number of cases of people going to get treatment but getting stuck because they can’t complete the full treatment, especially in the case of surgeries, as they cannot afford it. The insurance will make it safer for them, for the medical suppliers and reduce stress. So this issue won’t arise,” he explained.
A major topic of discussion in this regard is the National Health Policy, which the government is currently working on. “It is an insurance policy which is a must. It can protect three aspects. One of them is receiving the patient who is receiving treatment, and second is the facility provided i.e the hospital, and third is the medical insurance,” he said.
The policy is intended to set guidelines and regulations and policies that will cover all three aspects involved in order to ensure the needed standard of care.
“Medical insurance should follow the national health committees’ advice for non communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The first policy which was prepared as a draft was discussed with the Muscat Securities Market along with the Ministry of Health to have a policy which can be implemented in Oman for medical insurance and protect all these aspects that will help in the treatment of the patient,” he revealed.