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Organization and Health Policy of the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for ensuring the availability of health care to the people of Oman. In course of implementing its health development plans, the Ministry's organization had to be adapted in tune with the strategies and objectives that were crystallized during 1990. These can be summarized broadly as:
1. Governoratealization of health services and decentralization of decision making in specified technical, administrative and financial affairs
2. Emphasizing the role and importance of planning
3. Development of Education and Training in health
4. Emphasizing the importance of health systems research
5. Emphasizing the importance of governorateal and international relations
His Excellency the Minister of Health is assisted by three Undersecretaries respectively for Planning Affairs, Health Affairs, and Administrative & Financial Affairs. A number of Directorates-General and Directorates come under each of the Offices of the Undersecretaries. The organizational chart of Ministry of Health is shown in figure 1-4. The Health Council, which comes directly under HE the Minister, is responsible for providing broad directions for health development in the Sultanate. The Minister is also assisted by a number of advisors and consultants, in addition to Directorate General of Internal Audit, the Directorates of Public Relations, International Relations, Records Department and Legal Affairs.
The Office of the Undersecretary for Health Affairs ensures effective and efficient delivery of comprehensive health care to the people of Oman. The Directorate General of Health Affairs (DGHA) comes under this Office and incorporates a number of directorates: Family & Community Health, Communicable Disease Surveillance and control, Non Communicable Disease Surveillance and control, Environmental Health, Malaria Eradication, Health Education, School Health, Public Health Laboratories, Blood Bank Services, Hospital Affairs , Nutrition, Primary Health Care, Nursing Affairs, Community participation, quality and patient safety and oral health. Through these Directorates, the DGHA develops the implementation policies and procedures for effecting national health policies, plans and programs with the cooperation of the governorateal health authorities, and monitors the entire health care process. It also supervises the recruitment of health care professionals.
In keeping with the decentralization policy of Ministry of Health, the Directorates General of Health Services and the Directorates of Health Services at Health Governorates are vested with the responsibility for the delivery of comprehensive health care through a network of hospitals, health centers and mobile units. The Governorateal Directorate Generals directly function under the Office of the Undersecretary for Health Affairs.
The Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Affairs & Drug Control, under the Office of Undersecretary of Health Affairs, develops and implements national drug policy. It ensures the availability of drugs and other pharmaceuticals with adequate quality at various levels of health care. Directorate of Rational drug use, Directorate of Treatment abroad and Directorate of Private Health establishment also follow Undersecretary of health affairs.
Planning for health was emphasized when the strategies were revised and this led to the establishment of the Office of Undersecretary for Planning Affairs with a number of Directorates General and Directorates. These later function in coordination to formulate the health plans for developing the health services and care. The Directorate General of Planning incorporates: the Directorate of Health Information and Statistics, which develops and maintains a database of information necessary for planning; the Directorate of Research & Studies which is responsible for developing health systems research capabilities and conducting field studies, the Directorate of Planning which prepares the health plans and special programs and the Directorate of Monitoring & Evaluation which monitors the implementation of the plans. The Directorate General of Education & Training plays an important role in developing national human resources for the health sector as an integral part of the national Omanization strategy. The Directorate General of Information Technology promotes the development of the health care system through extending support for the creation and maintenance of computer-aided management systems.
A number of Directorates-Generals function under the Office of the Undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs. The DG for Financial Affairs, through three Directorates: Contracts & Purchases, Revenue & Expenditure and Budget & Accounts, accomplishes the financial & accounting duties and contracts as well as purchases according to the rules and disciplines. The DG Administrative Affairs, through its Personnel and Administrative Services Directorates, performs activities related to employment affairs within the agreed policies. There is also the DG Medical Supply which makes the plans and policies regarding stores including drug store and yearly produces estimates of costs of requirements through its two directorates: Stores and Spare Parts. The DG Engineering Affairs has three Directorates: Projects; Equipments and Maintenance. It is responsible for civil, mechanical, electrical and biomedical engineering and maintenance of equipment, instruments and buildings in addition to looking after the development projects.