By Maryam Khalfan — MUSCAT — In line with the forthcoming international conference on drafting a new National Health Policy (NHP) of the Sultanate up to the year 2050, a three-day preparatory workshop will be held from today at the Holiday Inn Hotel. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, will preside at the opening of the workshop.
The concept of this workshop is to review and structure a common long-term national vision for the health sector and overall health system in the Sultanate, Dr Ali bin Talib al Hinai, Under-Secretary for Planning, Ministry of Health told the Observer.
This preparatory workshop, which is also being held in line with an international conference on health systems 2050, which will be held from May 1-3, is also part of the ministry’s objectives to develop quality healthcare system and sustained health in the Sultanate, stated Dr Al Hinai.
The core purpose of this conference is to evaluate the health services in the Sultanate, review the achievements of the past years and to address the current challenges and obstacles encountered. The conference is also designed at seeking solutions on tackling the respective challenges with a view to providing high quality healthcare to citizens.
“Since the Sultanate’s renaissance in 1970, significant achievements have been made over the last four decades. In this aspect, we felt that the need for studying and drafting NHP for the next 40 years, which can be translated into the National Five-Year-Development Plans of advancements is significantly important,” stated the official.
In this aspect, since April last year, the ministry formed several task committees to explore the health policies and work towards the progress of the respective policies. The committees are also studying the current health status of the Sultanate and the challenges encountered by the national health systems, he added.
“We are also going to study and tackle current health challenges faced by the health sector in the Sultanate as well as look into the means of enhancing and to promote our achievements. In this regard, several working groups were established to study each part of the health system in a range of aspects related to the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, pharmaceutical, laboratory, nursing, education, finance, governance, human resources development, leaderships and so on,” Al Hinai said.
The respective groups of officials have been working over the last six months to prepare for the Healthy Policy 2050. Besides, the ministry has been working with many other government organisations and establishments in order to come up with a NHP, which covers all health aspects, like for instance, the impact of the environment and pollutions that may have a health and social determinants.
“Thus, to frame our policies, based on evidence approach and local experience, we decided to organise a comprehensive preparatory workshop with the participation of an international team of experts to enlighten us on certain aspects of the new NHP”, stated Al Hinai.
Among such participants includes a team of local and international speakers from different countries, academic institutions and universities who will for instance share their expertise in issues related to finance, health care and services as well as on information technology in order to have a health care policy that is within international standards.
This month’s workshop will explore through the policies and health visions of each working group from the preparatory phase from which recommendations will comprehensively be taken into consideration in the May conference.
The 2nd draft of the policy, which will be based on the outcome of the May conference will be further studied and discussed by the advisory board on the health policy and the international experts to develop it on equal par with international standards.
Likewise, the advisory board, which comprises of a team of local and international experts will scrutinise and monitor the policy prior to amendment and implementation of the document, affirmed Al Hinai.
The May conference, will explore into 13 themes of presentations and working groups of including 46 speakers from diverse countries all over the world and local speakers from the respective stake holders. The conference will also be participated by a host of delegates from the international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, Unicef and many other academicians and experts on health systems.