HEALTH COVER MANDATORY FOR PRIVATE SECTOR SOON
As only one in 10 workers has health insurance, the Oman government wants to enforce it from 2018
MUSCAT: Mandatory health cover for nationals and expats working in the private sector will be enforced from early next year, the government has announced.
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid Al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said the new healthcare system would be rolled out from “the beginning of next year.”
The news was welcomed by residents, doctors and experts alike, but there were warnings that the system should be robust, so that companies cannot find a way around providing cover.
The minister said currently, only 9 per cent of Omanis and 10 per cent of expats in the private sector are insured and that Oman needs a health insurance plan.
“We hope to start the health insurance plan in the private sector for nationals and expats working in that sector in phases from the beginning of next year,” he said.
“The aim of the health insurance plan is to raise the quality and efficiency of the private health sector, which must compete with the public health sector, and this cannot happen unless there is proper financing in the private health sector, which could come from health insurance.”
The minister, speaking at a health conference in Muscat, added: “We must find new ways to finance the health sector.”