Following the success of Global Healthcare Issues we’re pleased to bring you the seventh part of our new series - Global Healthcare Sectors.
Throughout these articles we will guide you through the structure behind the healthcare sectors we most frequently deal with. We’ll look at the private and public sectors, what positions are especially in demand, the funding models, and how to go about successfully securing a move.
In the seventh in our exclusive series we’ll look at one of the Gulf’s hidden gems. A country that is wealthy, relatively liberal and is planning sustainable development to ensure it has a bright future - Oman.
Oman is not only a wealthy, forward thinking country, it’s also one of the most beautiful in the Gulf. Stunning mountains, incredible unspoilt beaches, historic architecture, and a respect for the environment when developing ensure that the Sultanate offers a unique experience.
Where am I likely to work?
Oman is a vast country, third only to Saudi Arabia and Yemen in terms of size in the Gulf. Despite its size however it has a low population of just over 4.4 million, and so much of it remains rural.
As an expat moving to the country it’s highly likely that you’ll be living and working in the capital, Muscat, a stunning historic city located beside the Gulf of Oman, and overlooked by the rugged mountains used by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Muscat Private Hospital is the country’s flagship non Government location, and it is one of the most popular with expat medics moving to the country.
What Sector will I be working in?
Oman’s public healthcare system focuses mainly on providing jobs for Omani nationals, and so it’s highly likely that you will be working in the ever expanding private sector. In the private sector wages can be higher and facilities can be more modern, making it an appealing place to work.
How Generous is Healthcare Spending?
Healthcare spending in the Sultanate is expected to reach $4.3bn by 2020, making it one of the world’s most well funded systems. Aside from this, the private sector is attracting investors from around the world, with the country’s stable economy and political climate making it an increasingly attractive destination.
New private ventures in healthcare are opening up regularly, whilst the country acts as a perfect example of how to best invest the wealth generated by the oil boom.
Despite the high levels of spending, and impressive investment, the cost of living in Oman isn’t as high as you might fear. It’s far lower than in Dubai, with food on average 30% cheaper, and rent over 120% less expensive. This, combined with impressive salary packages and very low taxation rates can combined to make a move hugely rewarding financially.
What Will I Need?
Oman is very selective about who it lets in, and so the criteria for getting a job in the country’s prestigious private sector can be high. Western qualifications are hugely sought after (with British, American, Canadian or German the most well thought of).
As well as this most private hospitals and clinics will request that you have your CCT as well as up to date qualifications in your specialist area. Five years of experience is normally the minimum expected, though (as always) this can be flexible, and hospitals like medics who have stayed in a role for more than a few years. If you’ve spent a number of years as a locum, you’re unlikely to be accepted
Knowledge of Arabic (or another second language) would go a long way to securing a job, whilst experience in neighbouring Gulf locations would also be considered a further boost - although the country can be the perfect location in which to start your Middle Eastern adventure.
Who is Especially in Demand?
Paediatricians appear to be especially in demand at the moment according to our contacts in the region, with a range of private sector roles available.
As well as this, Emergency Medicine specialists are sought after, with the high number of road accidents equating to a higher than average demand. The country also remains blighted by the Gulf’s biggest single issue. Obesity. Openings for Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists and Cardiologists are therefore relatively common.
No matter your speciality however, Oman is likely to have an opening that could suit you. Patience is the key behind getting the job of your dreams in the Sultanate, so be prepared to wait in order to make sure you get a role that works for you.