MUSCAT: The Ministry of Health has made its best to provide an integrated health system that provides high quality healthcare for all Omanis living in different parts of the Sultanate, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Health. The report added that over the past few years, the Sultanate has witnessed a significant demographic and epidemic changes due to the growth in average life expectancy and prevalence of the non-contagious diseases. Statistics show that 45.1 per cent of the Omani population are less than 20 years of age. As of 2016, the rate of over 60 population is only 6 per cent of the total population, with the average number in an Omani family is 7.8 individuals.
The Omani woman gives birth to an average of five live births. The rate of raw death is 2.9 cases compared to 34.1:1,000 raw birth. The current fertility and fatality rate is expected to double the population of the Omanis in the next 25 to 30 years. The report pointed out that the health system of the Sultanate provides comprehensive coverage to all Omanis and expatriates. The expenditure on health constitutes 2.7 per cent of the GDP at current rate. The government, which bears about 81.1 per cent of the total expenditure on health, manages about 83.1 per cent of hospitals, 92.5 per cent of hospital beds, 62.2 per cent of outpatient services and 94.5 per cent of inpatient services.
The personal expenditure on health constitutes 11.6 per cent of the total expenditure on health. The report said that the ministry has made many achievements in rendering health services during the 8th Five-Year Health Plan (2010-2015) as it opened and operated five hospitals, four specialised centres and 29 health centres and complexes in different parts of the Sultanate. It also introduced 79 diagnostic and treatment services at various health institutions. Efforts made by the ministry were supported by donations by some individuals and organisations in the form of financing the purchase of medical equipment and supplies.
The report also said that the private sector has played an active role in setting up private health institutions that contribute to healthcare development in the Sultanate. The number of health institutions by the end of 2015 stood at 15 private hospitals, including 10 in Muscat, 2 each in Dhofar and North Al Batinah, and one in South Al Sharqiyah with a total bed capacity of 582. — ONA