Health insurance from end of 2019

MUSCAT, MARCH 26 – The much-awaited health insurance scheme for the private sector in the Sultanate will be implemented by the end of this year. According to Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, a roadmap for the mandatory scheme, to be implemented in phased manner, is currently being prepared. He said that the Ministry of Health in cooperation with a South Korean insurance company has done a study on the implementation of the scheme. “The Council of Ministers has already given its approval for the study. A government undertaking has now been assigned to implement the scheme,” the minister said in a statement.

The Capital Market Authority had announced earlier that the regulator is preparing guidelines to cover all related issues in the scheme, and also on systems which would connect insurance companies, healthcare providers, regulators and other stakeholders. “The health insurance project will aid in improving the quality of services being provided by the private healthcare institutions,” the minister said. “It must be applied correctly and carefully,” he added. The stages of preparation for the implementation of the scheme include an integrated database of private sector workers and their distribution across sectors.

The necessary legislative and regulatory frameworks for the launching of health insurance to private sector workers, including the expatriates residing in Oman and the visitors to the country. Referring to the investments, Dr Al Saeedi said that the investment and finance department in the ministry has been asked to list all the assets including land for private investments. “This will be done in cooperation with other government agencies,” the minister said. About partnership with the private sector for different services that the ministry has been receiving, the minister said, “These institutions maintain high standards that meet out requirements.”

At the same time, Dr Al Saeedi said that the cost of health services provided by private institutions in the Sultanate, compared to many other countries, are affordable and reasonable. “This is in consistence with the health expenditure in the Sultanate compared to other countries where the government spends per capita annually about $1,650, the Ministry of  Health’s share of this cost is $750, which provides 83 per cent of the healthcare services in the Sultanate,” he said.