Medical City likely by 2021

The Medical City, expected to be completed by 2021, will ensure quality tertiary healthcare is available for a majority of the Sultanate’s population, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, has said.
Medical City will also boost training and education for medical staff, thus reducing the cost of overseas training, the minister said in an interview to Oman Arabic, the sister publication of the Observer.
He said the Sultanate has several achievements in the field of health development in the past decades.
These achievements are particularly notable in reducing child mortality rate and controlling infectious diseases. This is in addition to the development in the infrastructure of primary health institutions in terms of both quality and quantity.
He added: “The ministry undertakes an important and vital role to spread healthcare services across the governorates and this task can be achieved only through specialist medical cadres. The ministry is also responsible for providing job.”
Opportunities for graduates of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and other universities and colleges according to the currently adopted system, replacing expatriate health workers by nationals, due to lack of vacancies.
“However, the procedure couldn’t meet healthcare requirements since it involves recruiting inexperienced fresh graduates in place of non-national experienced doctors and technicians.
“Thus, the ministry should retain non-Omani staffers and recruit international experts in order to keep up the quality of healthcare services.”
The total healthcare expenditure accounts for three per cent of the gross domestic product calculated by market prices, which is below the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) of five per cent.
Spending on healthcare is affected by the type of challenges facing the health sector.
Several factors currently point to the need to significantly boost health spending such as the increase in the number of elderly people and the epidemiological transition from infectious diseases to chronic diseases which are associated with high cost of treatment.
The government spent 6.5 per cent of total budget on health in 2015, which is considered to be low compared with other countries, where healthcare spending reaches 29 per cent of the total budget, the minister said.
The ministry has adopted the primary healthcare system which aims to provide easily accessible healthcare services near residential areas.
The primary healthcare infrastructure has witnessed a significant development in terms of both quality and quantity.
Year 2016 saw the opening of 241 health institutions across the Sultanate.
The public health institutions receive 85 per cent of the total number of patients with the public healthcare sector receiving 12.7 million patients in 2016, the minister said.