Health expenditure hits RO 24 million per year

MUSCAT, A total of RO 24 million is required annually following increase in the per capita health expenditure per Omani national. This is revealed in a report released by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health. According to the report, Oman’s annual population increases by about 80,000 people every year. The per capita health expenditure per Omani now stands at RO 300. This shows that there is a corresponding increase in the medical expenses relating to births. The cost of births amounted to more than RO 16 million last year, the report pointed out.

While the fee for a natural delivery at hospital is RO 180, a caesarean procedure costs RO 450. The number of births stood at 69,310 in 2018

The healthcare services have seen a significant growth as the number of surgeries performed at the public hospitals has risen to 121,000 in 2018 compared to 92,000 in 2010 and 103,000 in 2015. This rise in the number of surgeries was a result of an increasing healthcare awareness among the population. The number of hi-tech surgeries has also doubled. Cardiac surgeries increased to 1,166 in 2018 compared to 865 surgeries in 2010. On the contrary, kidney transplant surgeries dropped from 15 in 2010 to 11 in 2018. Surgeries in the other specialties such as neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgeries and gastrointestinal surgeries have also witnessed a great development, the report said

About national workforce in the ministry, the report said that the Omanisation in the health sector level stood at 71 per cent at the end of 2018 while the total number of employees reached 39,220 including foreigners. According to the report, 2,869 expats were replaced by nationals during the period from 2015 to June 2019. This includes 352 doctors, 224 pharmacists, 1,465 nurses, 576 in medical assistant jobs and 252 in other categories, the minister said. As for the Omanisation of doctors, it reached 39 per cent across all specialisations. The Omanisation rate among consultant doctors is 64 per cent, while specialists reached 26 per cent, general practitioners 43 per cent and dentists 82 per cent, the statement said.

The number of expatriate nurses is narrowing with nationals occupying 62 per cent of the profession. Omanisation of laboratory technicians and radiologists reached 61 per cent and 62 per cent, respectively. The highest percentage of nationals is in the pharmacy department, the statement pointed out. According to it, 90 per cent of pharmacists are Omanis while assistant pharmacists form 75 per cent. The ministry of health has 231 medical labs which conducted 28 million tests in 2018 while the radiation units numbered 167 in 2018. The Khoula Hospital, the Royal Hospital and the Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah were supplied with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices.

A total of 15.5 million visited the ministry’s outpatient clinics of whom 95.5 per cent were Omanis with a daily average of 42,500, Al Saeedi said adding that the Sultanate has been able to maintain its position among other countries in terms of the efficiency of the healthcare system.

The Sultanate has made several achievements on the international level which include, but not limited to, obtaining certificates from the WHO declaring the Sultanate free of measles and rubella.Bahrain being the only other country to obtain this certificate, Al Saeedi said.

Source: Oman Observer