Boost to private healthcare in Oman with new terms for treatment abroad

Muscat: The Minister of Health has issued a decision, amending some regulations related to the treatment of patients abroad and in private health institutions within the country.  The changes
are effective from today.

The decision is based on the regulations issued in 2015 for providing treatments to patients abroad in case the same facilities were not available within the country.

The new decision calls for the formation of a medical committee and a sub-medical committee, which will decide on agreeing to treat the patient abroad in health institutions approved by the ministry.

It will determine the period of his treatment, in addition to agreeing to provide the equipment and medical supplies for the patient in the event that they are not available in government medical institutions, without the need to be sent abroad.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will responsible for conducting medical examinations in one of the private sector hospitals in Oman, including treatment expenses and examinations, and providing a place of residence, round trip economy class tickets to the patients, and their companions from
Dhofar and Musandam governorates.

The new regulation states that conditions that are required to allow the patients to be sent abroad for treatment, including necessary financial allowances, the hospitals to be sent, and the treatment plan as per the terms approved by the medical committee.

The decision states that it is required the persons accompanying the patients are relatives up to the fourth degree or his wife. One of the companions would be female if the patient is a woman. One of the companions must be the parents of the sick child, and the female companion should not be pregnant in the last five months of pregnancy.

The ministry will continue to cover the costs of accommodation, daily expenses, travel, and visa allowances, but as per the new decision, the expenses will be within the limits of the value established for the accommodation and daily expenses if these facilities are provided by the health institution to which it is dispatched.

The decision states that if the patient wants to change the health institution from what was initially approved by the medical committee, the ministry will ensure that he is compensated within the limits of the value determined for his treatment costs as per the treatment the plan of the institution approved by the committee.

It may be noted that the change will be allowed only if the treatment has been started in the initial health institution approved by the medical committee, and the transfer takes place after receiving the treatment. The patient will be required to submit the medical reports and the original treatment bills for the approval of the medical committee.

Under the new regulation, the MoH will bear the expenses of treatment or conducting emergency medical examinations of the facilities, or medical facilities in the event of an injury or illness if they are abroad, following verification of the actual expenses by a health attache. The new amendment includes the disbursement of half of the patient’s allowance if he is a child under the age of twelve.