Friday, September 29, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 13, 1445 H
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Expats to get free treatment for infectious, communicable diseases

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MUSCAT: The Ministry of Health has compiled a comprehensive list of infectious and communicable diseases that pose a substantial public health threat. Individuals suffering from any of these diseases will not be subject to charges for medical services.

There are approximately 32 diseases on this list.

Expatriates will receive all necessary services for these conditions free of charge.

The diseases on the list include cholera, yellow fever, malaria, all types of tuberculosis, rabies, plague, both neonatal and adult tetanus, Acute Flaccid Paralysis, Paediatric Aids, severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), acute respiratory infections caused by Covid-19 requiring hospitalisation, acute respiratory infections caused by influenza viruses requiring hospitalisation, diphtheria, leprosy, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), chickenpox, smallpox, whooping cough in children under 5 years, hemorrhagic fevers of all types, pneumococcus in children under 5 years, cerebrospinal fever in children under five, measles, rubella, congenital rubella, brucella, dengue fever, monkeypox, active trachoma, Hepatitis E, Hepatitis A, emerging infectious disease syndrome, and cases classified as a public threat according to both the WHO and local criteria.

Additional categories exempt from fees encompass a wide range of individuals and circumstances.

This includes blood donors and organ donors for all categories mentioned in Article 4, except when the organ donation is intended for government-employed foreigners and their families. People receiving social security benefits and their families, even those awaiting assistance as confirmed by a social security card or official letter, qualify for fee exemptions.

Those transitioning from the Ministry of Social Development to complete their social security service requirements are also exempted. Furthermore, orphans under the care of the Ministry of Social Development, Omani individuals with registered disabilities, children below the age of two, beneficiaries of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, participants in national vaccination campaigns, Omanis benefiting from early screening initiatives, pregnant Omani women, and those receiving maternal and child care services, including the birth spacing programme, are all entitled to fee waivers.

Additionally, Omanis, chronic dialysis patients, cancer patients, prison inmates, pretrial detainees, scouts, guides, and individuals converting to Islam in the Sultanate of Oman are among the groups excluded from this fee.

It is important to note that the Ministry of Health with Ministerial Decision No 126/2023 made mandatory the establishment of a healthcare service fee regulation in Oman and defines the categories covered by this regulation.

Article 3 of the regulation emphasises the importance of taking all necessary measures to ensure the collection of the specified fee without impeding the treatment in emergency cases.

Article 4 of the regulation outlines that, with the exception of injuries resulting from traffic accidents and cases covered by insurance, the following categories are entitled to free medical services: Omani nationals, citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council countries residing in Oman for a minimum of three months, foreigners married to Omani women, including their husbands and children born to the Omani wife from this marriage, foreign women married to Omanis, foreign parents of Omanis residing in Oman, foreign parents and children of foreign spouses of Omani origin residing in Oman, foreigners employed by the government and their families as per their employment contracts, and members of foreign diplomatic missions and their family members as per the annual schedules issued by the Foreign Ministry.

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