The National Hyperbaric Medicine Center (NHC) was opened by the Ministry of Health (MoH) at Royal Hospital on Wednesday.
Hyperbaric medicine is one of the modern medicine approaches that provide pure oxygen at an ambient pressure higher than atmospheric pressure at the sea level.
The treatment helps the body tissues to regenerate, especially tissues damaged due to chronic diseases, radiation or burns.
The center was opened under the auspices of Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, along with a number of civil and military officials.
Describing the center as a “breakthrough”, Dr Al Saeedi said that treatment will be provided free of cost to patients. “It is a must to have hyperbaric medicine in the country as part of the modern treatment services and keep abreast with latest technologies in the health sector,” he said. He thanked the Royal Navy of Oman for having the first such center at the Said Bin Sultan Naval Base, Wudam Al Sahil, where patients from across the country are treated and for training the NHC cadre.
In her opening speech, Dr Aisha bint Habeeb al Bulushiya, Head of NHC, said Oman is one of the developing countries that is keen on ensuring the good health of its residents.
“MoH has provided various health services in different fields, including setting up the National Diabetes and Endocrine Center, National Heart Center and National Oncology Center”.
Dr Al Bulushiya said the NHC comes in response to His Majesty the Sultan’s directives towards the development of the health sector.
The patron of the event and guests toured the facilities at the center, which has been built on an area of 851 sqm at a cost of RO 2.3 million.
It has been constructed next to National Diabetes and Endocrine Center in Bausher.
It consists of several facilities, including medical records section, examination room and three rooms for diagnosis and treatment.
The main room has three hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) devices.
While two of the devices can accommodate up to 12 people, the other can accommodate one person.
The center, which began its operations early this year, is compatible with all the safety systems.
It is equipped with fire engines, alarms and sensors inside the hyperbaric oxygen devices, besides a number of emergency exits.
All health workers at the center were trained at specialised centers in Germany and Austria.
They also underwent a practical training programme at Said Bin Sultan Naval Base’s (SBSNB) medical polyclinic.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is key treatment for many cases, including blockage of blood vessels by bubbles, acute poisoning by carbon monoxide gas and decompression sickness, which affects divers.
Hyperbaric oxygen is used as a supplement therapy for many conditions, including diabetic foot ulcers, burns, sudden hearing loss, chronic osteomyelitis (infection of the bone), ear infections and crushing injuries (accidents), in addition to problems caused by acute microbes, wounds and slow-healing ulcers.