WHO praises Sultanate’s patient safety

The Sultanate’s healthcare initiatives got endorsement from WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean for its significant progress in the areas of quality and patient safety over the past decade. In his address to the ongoing ministerial meeting on the ‘Road to universal health coverage in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, WHO’s Regional Director for EMR, called Oman’s initiative praiseworthy and something which other countries can follow.
“At the Regional level, substantial efforts and achievements have been made with the use of the ‘Patient safety-friendly hospital’ initiative, which now covers 26 hospitals across the government and private sectors in Oman. Countries from the region and globally have the opportunity to learn from Oman’s success story and can replicate these achievements in their settings,” he said.
Al Mandhari said, “The Sultanate of Oman has made significant progress in this area. There has been continuous collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and with WHO headquarters, specifically in the development and implementation of patient safety tools, such as ‘Safe surgery saves life’, ‘Clean care safer care’, ‘Patient engagement and empowerment for patients’ safety’ and ‘Reporting and learning systems for safer care” as well as in operational research on patient safety and quality.”
He informed the gathering of the health experts including 22 ministerial delegates that Oman’s Directorate of Quality Assurance Center, which works under the Ministry of Health, has been designated as a WHO ‘Collaborating centre for quality and patient safety’.
Commenting on the necessity of the adoption of one of the dream projects of the WHO ‘Universal Health Coverage’, Al Mandhari cited a joint WHO-World Bank Report published last December.
The report states that “half the people in the world are deprived of the healthcare they need. It also estimated that around 800 million individuals worldwide encounter financial hardship when accessing the healthcare they need, and that around 100 million become poor, because they have to make direct out-of-pocket payments for the services they need at the point of delivery.”
Low public investment in health, according to him, is the reason for this critical problem, which results in limited access to priority services, compromised service quality and large-scale financial hardship.
“Our regional average public spending on health has not exceeded 2 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP and 6.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent of total public spending in the last 15 years. This is happening despite several commitments, declarations and policy statements. Together we have to change this picture. We will be listening to evidence and discussing global and regional experiences to learn how some countries have managed to make concrete progress towards Universal Health Coverage, by mobilising public resources and reorganising their health systems to change the way services are delivered,” he said.