Oman’s Healthcare Sector To Embark On Major Development Plan

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Saeedi

Muscat: Dr. Ahmed Mohammed al-Sa’eedi, the Minister of Health, has said that the Ministry has embarked on drafting the healthcare sector’s 10th Five Year Plan.

The plan enlists a variety of new projects and expanded programmes to be implemented during the years of the plan, depending on the State’s general economic circumstances.

The minister made the statement during the sixth ordinary session of the Majlis A’Shura’s second annual sitting (2020-2021) of the Majlis’s 9th term (2019-2023).

The Ministry of Health has four referral hospitals offering tertiary healthcare to the Sultanate’s population.

They are the Royal Hospital, Khoula Hospital, Al Nahda Hospital and Al Masarra Hospital, which have a total number of 1,639 beds, with occupancy standing at 70.7 per cent, said Dr. Ahmed.

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He added that the nine referral hospitals in Muscat Governorate have a total of 23,178 beds, with occupancy standing at 56.2 per cent, said the minister, noting that Sohar Hospital has the highest occupancy rate in the Sultanate (79.6 per cent).

In his statement, the minister said that the number of employees at the Ministry by the end of 2019 stood at more than 39,400 and that Omanisation at the Ministry stands at 72 per cent in medical and paramedical categories.

The Ministry of Health increased the number of accident and emergency units to four, said the minister, adding that steps are underway to set up accident and emergency units at the hospitals of Izki and Yanqul, the minister explained.

Dr. Ahmed pointed out that, by the end of 2019, the number of health establishments in the Sultanate stood at 261, of which 50 are hospitals (5,049 beds), 22 are polyclinics and 189 health centres.

This is in addition to 27 private hospitals and 1,254 health establishments operating without pharmacies.

Speaking about the COVID-19 infection cases, the minister said that they stood at 133,044 of which 10,685 cases required admission to hospital wards and 2,650 had to be admitted to intensive care units, but 1,521 of the patients passed away.

The minister cautioned that, despite all efforts exerted by the Ministry to keep the situation under control within constraints posed by economic conditions since 2015, there are still some serious challenges facing the development of healthcare in the Sultanate.

The challenges include limited financial resources, the shortage of human resources, among other problems, he affirmed.

Source: Oman News Agency