A total of 415 expatriate nurses will be replaced by Omani nationals across governorates in the Sultanate.
The Ministry of Health has finalised the procedures for appointing nursing graduates through the ‘replacement process’ (replacing expatriates with nationals). The ministry has interviewed 200 graduates from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and private universities for the purpose.
Omanisation rate in the nursing sector has reached 65 per cent, said an official source at the ministry.
The official told Oman Arabic, sister publication of the Observer, that due to lack of job vacancies and opportunities for the national workforce, the ministry has to provide jobs from its own limited resources to employ graduates from nursing institutes.
Replacing experienced expatriates with fresh graduates is expected to affect the quality of medical services. However, those in charge of the process see it as a big investment in the national medical cadre as it contributes to the national development process.
The ‘Strategic Planning’ methodology adopted by the ministry since the Seventh Five-Year Plan resulted in presenting a clear vision and sound orientation to identify and address priority problems and needs.
Proper and continuous planning followed by the ministry every five years starting from 1976 had led to supporting the health system through the provision of health programmes and services that contributed to upgrading the health level of the population.
The number of hospitals in the Sultanate in 2012 stood at 65 including 49 hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health.
The number of hospital beds stood at 5,965 with a bed rate of 16.5 per cent per 10,000 population, including 4,659 beds affiliated to the ministry, which constitutes 78.1 per cent of total hospital beds in the Sultanate.
The ministry recognises that the quality of healthcare is highly dependent on the availability of the appropriate number of eligible working groups with different competencies, and accords great attention to the strategies of supporting and developing workforce with a view to improving health services in the Sultanate, which led to improvement in the quality of healthcare provided to citizens.
By Auhood al Jailaniya