What are the challenges facing the health sector?

STAFF REPORTER –  Even as the population of the Sultanate is expected to reach seven million by 2040, the country is faced with several challenges in the healthcare sector, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
In this connection, the ministry is holding a symposium on Wednesday which is expected to come up with recommendations to face the current as well as future challenges to Sultanate’s health services.
Some of the challenges include growing rates of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, besides complications arising out of these diseases.
This has led to the doubling up of healthcare costs, affecting the quality of healthcare provision.
The Sultanate’s population registered 4,638,908 of whom 54.9 per cent are Omanis by the end of 2017, according to recent statistics by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The NCSI population clock shows a slight deviation in population number compared with the actual daily count registered by the Royal Oman Police. The number of registered citizens by end-2017 stood at 2,546,446 while expat number reached 2,092,459.
Titled ‘Investment in the Health Sector (Opportunities and Aspirations)’, the symposium seeks to strengthen partnership with the private sector along with facilitating investment in the health sector.
It will also highlight the significance of investment in Oman’s health sector.
The MoH, represented by the Department of Investment and Financing Alternatives (IFA), in collaboration with the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), will hold the symposium at Crowne Plaza Hotel.
It is being held under the auspices of Nasser bin Khamis al Jashmi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
Investment experts and specialists will be speaking on key challenges facing the sector.
The symposium aims to outline the available investment opportunities in the sector through the provision of medical services or pharmaceutical industry and biomedical technology.
In the past few decades, health sector in the Sultanate has witnessed an accelerated growth, having a positive impact on the economy’s annual growth rate. This high growth is expected to continue in the coming decades.