Government Releases Healthcare Expenditure Budget For 2013
BMI View: The effects of the Arab Spring in 2011 will continue to ensure the Omani government allocates a larger budget to the healthcare sector in the medium term . Post 2013, BMI expects the government to boost the proportion of total expenditure designated to healthcare past the 5% reported for 2012 and 2013. We believe increasing the number of medical staff and hospital beds to fully capitalise on the large number of modern healthcare facilities in Oman will be the government ' s key plan in its 2011-2 0 15 five -year plan.
Public healthcare spending by the Omani Ministry of Health in 2013 is to increase by 9.4% from OMR500mn to OMR547mn, according to the Muscat Daily. The country's hospital bed count and medical staff shortages are currently below the international standard, especially in health centres outside big cities. These will be key drivers to increasing public funds. The Ministry of Health (MoH) stated that its eighth five-year plan for healthcare, 2011-2015, include the construction of seven hospitals, five health complexes and 27 health centres. It also lists the preparation of a feasibility study for a medical city project.
Despite being one of the smallest markets in the GCC, with relatively low health spending per capita, Oman is considered to have one of the strongest healthcare systems in the world. The MoH provides healthcare services at all levels, covering every region in the country. The substantial government investment in the sector, currently estimated by BMI at 82% of the total, has resulted in a robust, modern hospital system and solid primary coverage in urban areas. The MoH attributes much of its success to the long-term development of a health structure with a core policy of providing free medical treatment and medicines to all citizens.
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