Majlis Al Shura urges health minister to expedite pending projects in Oman

Business Wednesday 27/April/2016 21:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Majlis Al Shura urges health minister to expedite pending projects in Oman

Muscat: Minister of Health is expected to make more efforts to ensure the completion of delayed health projects, said members of the Majlis Al Shura, who hosted the minister, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Sa’eedi on Wednesday.
The minister’s statement on the condition of health facilities and plans to improve the sector in Oman, was the basis of discussion at the Majlis Al Shura.
The members questioned Al Sa’eedi on delays in executing the health ministry’s eighth five-year plan (2010-2015) projects.
Ali Al Qutaiti, head of the Health Committee at the Majlis Al Shura, said only 36 per cent of the projects in this plan have been realised, while people are still waiting for the completion of remaining 64 per cent of projects.
“So far, we have heard only the ministry’s plans to build new hospitals and renovate some, but we don’t see anything. So how can we and the citizens trust you?” he asked.
Al Sa’eedi said a letter from the Ministry of Finance in the past had instructed the ministry not to execute any projects before 2013, except essential projects, due to financial reasons.
According to Al Sa’eedi, the eighth five-year plan had 74 projects, including 12 hospitals and 37 health centres.
The projects have been delayed after 2013.
According to figures presented by Al Sa’eedi during the session, 27 health projects were completed between 2013 and 2016, including 17 health centres and four hospitals.
Hilal Al Sarmi, member of the Health Committee, said that while he understood the Ministry had to postpone some projects in this plan, he is not satisfied.
He said that the biggest projects finalised in this period were hospitals and health centres outside Muscat, including the Al Falah, Khasab, Al Nama and Samail Hospitals.
Minister’s response
“We are not satisfied with the minister’s response and we urge him to do more to secure these projects. Clearly, the minister was not prepared to execute the projects. Even when there was space for new projects, the Ministry executed smaller projects and left the bigger ones aside,” he said.
Al Saidi said the ministry is waiting for a decision by the Supreme Council for Planning on the remaining projects of the eighth and ninth plan (2016 to 2020).
Al Sarmi said the health minister is not clear about which projects are in the pipeline for the ninth plan, “because he does not want to be judged in case it does not happen.”
He also pointed out that the Sultanate of Oman currently has 69 hospitals, of which 49 are under the Ministry of Health, five under other government entities and 15 under the private sector.