Oman looks to the private sector to boost health care

The government of Oman has spent years building up the nation’s health care infrastructure, and now it is looking to private health interests to build on that foundation with ambitious plans to have more than 10,000 clinics open across the country by 2050 and hopes the private sector will play a part in making that goal a reality.

“We are keen to promote hospitals in the private sector,” Sayyid Sultan bin Yarub Al Busaidy, Health Affairs adviser at Oman’s Ministry of Health, said. “Any plans that can add momentum to the health sector’s progress are welcome. We want all small clinics to grow into hospitals.”

One place where Ministry of Health officials hope private providers might help is in the most hard-pressed sectors in Oman with patients who require long-term care in areas such as geriatrics, diabetes and obesity.

John Clarke, who heads Muscat Private Hospital, said Oman would do well to follow the example of the United Kingdom’s health system.

“What will move the private sector along now is to follow the U.K. model, where the National Health Service contracted outpatient services with growing waiting times to the private sector,” Clarke said. “That reduced the burden on the government to provide health care and developed the private sector’s competencies.”

If the government is successful and growing both public and private health services, it could save money on sending patients abroad for treatments currently unavailable in Oman.

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Oman's Ministry of Health

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