Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami –
We have been receiving countless blessings every moment of our life. Some of these blessings are decent living standard, health, education, employment and many others.
Some of us are blessed with many others that some people don’t have. This, in itself, is a blessing. Unfortunately, sometimes we do not realise value of the blessings we have been bestowed with. We appreciate their value only when they are no more with us.
Some of the blessings for which we are envied include free education in government schools from the first grade. Students get free education, books and transport (to and from home). It is the best that students can ever get during their school years.
How lucky students here are, while in some countries, students work in part-time jobs to cover the expenses of their schools. What a comparison. Believe it or not, not only Omanis get free education in government schools, but also non-Omanis enrolled in these institutions.
Not only is education offered free of charge, but healthcare too. In all government hospitals and health centres around the Sultanate, Omanis are entitled to free treatment regardless of their age, gender or condition.
The amount that they pay for registration is RO 1.200 for a year. It’s not even regarded an expense compared to the healthcare services and medication we get.
None of us faces the burden of paying for our healthcare treatment. Indeed, we are blessed.
Omanis should be grateful for all these blessings as they are impossible dreams for many around the world. Many other students are deprived of education because their families cannot afford to pay the school fees.
However, there are families that do not appreciate the blessings they are enjoying in the form of facilities offered to students at schools. As the saying goes, ‘No pain, no gain’.
Also, there are people who could learn lessons the hard way, for such people will not understand how precious these blessings are unless they are charged for the same.
On the other hand, with the emergence of healthcare insurance cards that most of private sector employees get, things have changed.
People’s interest and attention have shifted to the private hospitals or polyclinics, where they believe the quality of healthcare is better than in the government institutions.
However, this is not always right as most of the private healthcare institutions are profit-making rather than quality-focused. But what matters to the users of those insurance cards is getting free treatment and service in a private hospital.
Therefore, the beneficiaries of such ‘magical cards’ tend to misuse the cards by unnecessary and frequent visits to the private healthcare institutions even for minor treatment, which can be received from any government healthcare centre.
The worst scenario is that most of the private hospitals differentiate the treatment of insurance card-holders from other patients as they try to get as much advantage from those cards as possible. The kind of check-ups, treatment and medications prescribed to card-holders are different than those for normal patients.
Those healthcare insurance cards are also a blessing that not everyone has. So whoever gets it should efficiently and honestly get the most of it and whenever required.
To the users of these cards, it is a free service, but their employers are paying the insurance agencies which are paying the hospitals. Therefore, such cards should be responsibly used and should be carefully monitored by an auditing authority to ensure that all insurance cards are properly utilised and charged.