Final Deliberations on National Health Policy Document Held
Final Deliberations on National Health Policy Document Held22/6/2023
The Ministry of Health represented by the Directorate General of Planning & Studies in collaboration with the World Health Organization organized today (Thursday) a National Workshop to conduct final discussions on the National Health Policy Document for the Sultanate of Oman at the Novotel hotel, Muscat.
H.E. Dr. Hilal Ali Al Sabti, Minister of Health patronized the workshop with the presence of number of their Excellencies, participants, and invitees, along with the participation of representatives of other partners.
Her Excellency Dr. Fatima Mohammed AL Ajmi, MOH’s Undersecretary for Administrative, Financial and Planning Affairs gave a word at the opening. She noted that almost three decades have passed since the development of last national health policy for the Sultanate of Oman, which has had a major impact on directing the health work in the country and building its national health system.
An update was a must though. Therefore, the Ministry has put great effort to scrutinize the previous experience and evaluate the health system performance taking into consideration Oman Vision 2040, its national sectorial obligations, as well its up-to-date technical requirements.
Her Excellency stated that the priorities of the National Health Policy included the achievement of a high- quality sustainable comprehensive health coverage for all population, and an informed and effective societal and sectoral participation. Furthermore, it covers the establishment of an advanced structure for the health sector that is characterized by advanced technologies, modern information and research systems, supported by sustainable human and physical resources with good governance; a structure that provides an attractive and motivating work environment for the health sector cadres, and takes into account the emphasis on securing safe air, food and water for all, the provision of a healthy environment that promotes healthy lifestyles, and building an integrated national system to deal with health emergencies.
She added that the joint factor among these priorities is the empowerment of health-related sectors and society members in the process of health system planning, implementation, and observation, along with activating and strengthening partnership among these parties to serve the objectives of the national health policy.
MOH’s Undersecretary for Administrative, Financial and Planning Affairs highlighted that this gathering emphasizes the concept of ‘health is responsibility of all’, with each sector play an influential role in the health process.
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari stressed in a recorded word the significance of developing a national policy for country’s health system. He pointed out that the health policy includes many different aspects defined in organizing the health system, directing consultations in the health infrastructure, activating prevention programs, raising health awareness, regulating licensing of medical and health professions, preparing health insurance related legislation, treatment costs, and encouraging scientific research and innovation in the field of health.
Sheikh Hilal Abdullah Al Hinai, Director General of Quality and Government Excellence at Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit remarked in his speech that the document ahead is an evidence of the efforts exerted to fulfill Oman Vision 2040 regarding Health Priority in order to meet the strategic direction of attaining a leading health system with international standards. The document is the National Health Policy that urges joint action, activating partnership between all health-related parties, strengthening that relationship to serve the entire population to improve their health, achieve justice and equity among them, and ensure sustainability and self-reliance.
On behalf of H.E. Dr. Jean Jabbour, WHO representative in Oman, Dr. Mohammed Al Abri, Public Health Officer at Oman WHO Office underlined in a speech the role of the Organization in supporting priorities and needs of the State members in achieving their national health system and implementing health plans to realize Global Program of Work “GPW”.
Dr. Al Abri pointed out that it is hoped that the health policy would determine the cooperation between the organization and the Sultanate of Oman by directing support activities to enable and enhance health services, address public health issues, accelerate the health services development, in addition to supporting health partnership in all sectors to achieve the goals.
During the opening, Dr. Qasim Al Salmi, Director General of Planning and Studies reviewed the draft of the National Health Policy, highlighting stages of the health system development in the country up to Oman Vision 2040. He shed light on the policy components, which are the purpose, mission and basic pillars, in addition to its strategic objectives that is the Health Theme in Oman Vision 2040. Dr. Al Salmi further touched upon the strategic interventions and the actions for implementation.
Participants were divided into working groups with the aim of revising and discussing the document, and reviewing suggestions to make any improvement then finalized it.