Most Omanis use their personal vehicles or take taxis in order to get to the hospital. If traffic accident victims aren´t injured too severely, for example, bystanders often pack them into a cab or a car and take them to a hospital that way. While police and emergency services have access to helicopters, they only use them in response to traffic accidents, beach accidents, and evacuations from difficult terrain.
On arrival in Oman, you should immediately take note of the emergency telephone numbers, the locations of major hospitals, and the quickest route to the nearest hospital with an accident and emergency department. Your work colleagues can advise you about the best places to go for care. Keep the telephone number of a taxi service readily available in case your own transport is unavailable.
In the case of a medical emergency, observe the following procedure:
- If you’re able, go directly to the nearest hospital with an emergency unit.
- If you don’t have your own transport, but ambulance service is available, call the ambulance number. The operator will be able to speak both Arabic and English and will respond in the language that you use. You will be asked to identify yourself and give your address, and you might have to give directions (sometimes using nearby landmarks rather than street names). You will also be asked about the type of medical problem. If it’s a life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack or a serious accident, make this abundantly clear.
- Ask for an ambulance´s expected time of arrival and whether trained medical personnel will be available. The answer might persuade you to call a taxi instead.
- If you decide to call a taxi, make sure that the driver or company understands the urgency of the situation.
For further information, contact the Ministry of Health, PO Box 393, Muscat, Oman, (Tel. 968-602 177).