Privatisation in health sector to be gradual process

Muscat: Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, said that no healthcare sector in the world is the so-called ideal and the high operating costs call for close cooperation with the private sector.

In an interview, the minister also mentioned several projects carried out with the participation of the private sector.

As the cost of health services in the private sector will be naturally high, the privatization process cannot be done not at one go, but gradually.

The minister added that already some segments of the health sector has been privatized like nutrition, housekeeping departments.

The minister praised the role played by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) in reducing deaths due to road accidents, which has declined by 50 percent in recent years.

For the benefit of citizens who stay far away from hospitals, Al Saeedi said they should make use of the call center service and confirm their appointments before going to a particular hospital. “Nearly 98 percent of these requests are met with within 24 hours.”


Regarding facilities that are not available in some hospitals, he said the radiology services and maternity services for women (Al Batinah) are sought from the private sector. 

He informed that the work is underway for two years on having a unified file for patients so that the same information is available at any hospital by the experts.

He said the National Center for Research and Treatment of Cancer is working jointly with the department in the Royal Hospital by sharing of knowledge and expertise.

“On cancer cases, the number of cases is lower than many other countries in the world and that the reason for their increase in the Sultanate is the increase in population and life expectancy of the patients.”

The minister said the transplantation of liver, bone marrow, kidney, and organs carried outside the Sultanate are illegal and unregulated and may be subjected to extortion. “These patients subject to various infections may bring it back to the country.”


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