NO SHORTAGE OF BEDS IN HOSPITALS: H E DR HINAI

MUSCAT: A senior Ministry of Health (MoH) official has said that there is no shortage of hospital beds across the sultanate and that having Omani doctors remains a challenge.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on the sidelines of the Oman Projects Forum organised by MEED, H E Dr Ali Talib al Hinai, Undersecretary of planning in MoH said, “We don’t have a shortage of beds. The occupancy rate in our hospitals is about 50 to 54 per cent, leaving around 46 per cent beds vacant. But, if you take a city like Muscat…there is where we have the shortage. It does not mean that the entire country faces a shortage.”

He said there were not enough Omani doctors. “There has been an increase in the number of Omani nurses; we need more physicians.”

He also said that if an increasing number of patients was opting for treatment abroad, it was their own free will and that the same level of care and service is provided in Oman.

“We are a free country and can’t stop people from going abroad. But we would like them to undergo treatment in Oman and see people from other countries using the sultanate’s medical facilities,” he said.

According to him, while life expectancy has increased, Oman’s population faces threat from non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cancer.

H E Dr Hinai said that 2.5 per cent of the GDP is spent on healthcare, adding that the sector has seen vast developments over the past five years.

SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY