Oman sets up first Health Endowment Fund

Muscat: A landmark endowment fund dedicated to the financing of healthcare services in the Sultanate has been formally established.

Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al Salmi, Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, yesterday issued a Ministerial Decision 281/2020 for setting up the ‘Health Endowment Fund’ (HEF).

The Endowment Fund for Enhancing Health Services, as it is called, will based on Islamic sharia principles governing the regulation of endowment funds. Revenues from the HEF will be invested in healthcare programmes and services in the Sultanate.

Administered by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, the Fund will explore new and diverse ways to support health services. It will also seek to stimulate the developmental role of endowment (Waqf) in health services, notably by encouraging grants and endowments in support of health services. Additionally, the Fund will identify the best options for utilizing these grants through investments.

Beneficiaries from the Fund will include individuals and society in general. Donations and returns on investments will be used to fund medical treatment, finance the establishment of health establishments (hospitals, polyclinics, and so on), and support the procurement of medicines, ambulances and other essential medical equipment, and also fund medical research.

With a view to augmenting its revenue generating potential, the Fund will explore options to invest in, among other areas, real estate, and industrial and agricultural fields.

A separate decision issued by the Minister named a board of directors to oversee the Health Endowment Fund for a period of five years, with Health Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi as Chairman.  Board members comprise Dr. Ali bin Talib al Hinai, Ahmed bin Abdullah al Khonji, Dr. Halima bint Qalam al-Hinaiya, Sultan bin Khalid al Busaidi, Nasr bin Amir al Hosni and Ali bin Hassan al Lawati.

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