Fees for several health services to go up in Feb

MUSCAT, Dec 16 – Starting in February 2019, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is raising the fees for several services provided for both nationals and expatriates, says a circular from the ministry.
In a ministerial decision announced on Sunday, the MoH has increased the medical test fee for employees in the private sector to RO 30 for obtaining the resident card. The fee hike is part of many other measures taken through ministerial decision 239/2018, which will come into force from February 1, 2019.
The cost of services provided by the ministry, including deposits on admission to government hospitals, ambulance charges, vaccination fees, permits to import medication, and permits to establish private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies will see a rise.

Omanis will have to pay RO 20 as medical examination fee if they are marrying abroad.
According to the decision, expatriates have to pay RO 2 for attestation of a medical certificate brought from abroad.
Currently, the fee for medical test for getting a resident card is RO 3.
The resident card has to be renewed once every two years.
The fee hike did not come as a surprise to financial experts as they see it as part of the
ministry’s efforts to ramp up its revenues to meet the rising healthcare expenditure.
“The decision comes on the expected lines as the ministry is looking for ways to generate revenues as it is totally dependent on budget allocations and subsidies,” said Hameed al Lawati, a financial expert with a local bank.
According to him, the Ministry of Health has been exploring ways to finance many of its services by increasing charges and other strategies.
Salaries and allowances represent 73.5 per cent of the recurrent expenditure in the ministry.
In the 2018 budget, the Ministry of Health received an allocation of RO 654 million, which was 6.74 per cent higher than the previous year.
The ministry also hiked the fees for issuing a certificate of experience for non-Omani medical and medical assistant category to RO 20.
The licence fee for assistant medical professions for non-Omanis, except a pharmaceutical profession, has been fixed at
RO 100.