Doctors are supervised either by the Ministry of Health or, if attached to military establishments, by the Ministry of the Interior (most military doctors treat civilians as well.)
Many of Oman’s doctors come from Europe, the USA, Egypt, India and Pakistan, and their qualifications are verified by the two regulating Ministries before they’re allowed to practice in the region. Most embassies keep details of their nationals who practise medicine in the region.
There are excellent antenatal and obstetrics services throughout the region, in both the public and private sectors. If you don’t have private coverage, the public services have a first class reputation.
Alternative medicine practitioners aren’t as common as they are in Europe and the USA, and you should check that they’ve been given state registration before using them.
If you opt for private health care coverage, you will be free to change your doctor as needed, make appointments without significant difficulty, and in some instances have the option of walk-in service when necessary. Doctor´s appointments are usually made for a time between 24 and 72 hours from the request. For public health facilities, it is better to appear in person to make an appointment. If you make an appointment over the phone you risk being lost in the daily shuffle.
There are generally two periods for surgery each day, one between 9:00 and 13:00, and the other between 17:00 and 20:30.
Emergency cases are alwasy seen quickly.
A routine check-up usually costs arpund $60 (£40), with additional costs for any tests required. Many private doctors are able to process simple blood and urine tests on their premises and usually have electro-cardiogram equipment as well.
House-calls and specialist visits are more expensive. If you are referred to a specialist for treatment, you will receive a receipt that you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement.
As is the case with doctors, there are excellent dentists practicing in Oman. Many dentists have their own work rooms and technicians producing crowns, bridges and prosthetics, which expedites treatment. Most dentists are foreigners from Scandinavia, Britain and Russia. Embassies usually keep details of their nationals who practice dentistry in the region.
Dentists and orthodontists advertise in telephone directories, expatriate magazines and tourist guides. Most dentists practice privately, although local nationals are sometimes treated at public hospitals. As with doctors and hospitals, ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues before choosing a dentist.
Surgery hours are generally 9:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 20:00 Saturdays to Thursdays, with some emergency provisions. Treatment costs vary. If you require extensive treatment, discuss a payment plan with your dentist and see if he will allow you to spread payments over a long period of time.
If you have private or international health insurance, your dentist will have to complete paperwork for the insurance company in order for you to obtain your refund.