GCC health ministers call for joint cooperation in health services

Muscat: At the opening of the ninth meeting of the Committee of Health Ministers of the GCC countries, hosted by Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Dr. Hilal bin Ali Al Sabti, Minister of Health, stressed that the meeting is a result of the efforts of the Gulf countries to strengthen cooperation in the field of health and to develop health services in a way that reflects excellence in the field of technology (Internet of Things, artificial intelligence).

He pointed out that the most important topic of the meeting was to highlight the importance of joining hands to unify positions in the interest of improving the health sector in the Gulf countries.

The opening program also included a speech by H.E. Jassim bin Mohammed Al Budawi, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in which he stressed the necessity of continuous work to achieve aspirations of the Riyadh Summit in December 2022.

He added that the data and statistics confirm the commitment of the GCC countries to health development issues, as it represents the ability of the GCC countries to ensure that everyone enjoys healthy lifestyles, especially since the GCC countries were able to limit the spread of infectious diseases such as polio, malaria, and other communicable diseases through national immunization programs and other steps.

He explained that the GCC Council countries are endeavoring to achieve comprehensive health coverage by providing access to health services at various levels.

The ninth meeting of GCC health ministers discussed many health topics and issues of concern to the GCC countries and their people, and decisions were taken on many topics. In the field of examining expatriate labour, it was decided to emphasize to member states the importance of completing the electronic link to the program to check arrivals with relevant authorities for each country.

Representatives of the ministries of health in the GCC countries urged the participation of members concerned with amendments to the International Health Regulations 2005 and in discussions to improve plans and capabilities for epidemic prevention and comprehensive response at the national, regional and global levels to support initiatives in this regard.

The ministers also decided to adopt the health cities project for health-promoting shopping centers and commercial complexes. Besides, in the area of unifying classification and registration procedures for health specialties, the ministers approved the initial version of the lists of health certificates and their classification in the GCC countries, which is a part of the guide for health practitioners in the Gulf.

Regarding the establishment of Gulf Virtual Health Complex, the proposal to establish the complex was approved in principle, and a temporary working group was formed to develop m

The meeting also discussed the proposal of the Saudi Ministry of Health regarding designating the second day of March each year as World Health Martyr’s Day, as well as the two proposals by Oman’s Ministry regarding complementarity in specialized services among the GCC countries, and activating virtual clinics for rare specialties among the GCC countries.

With regard to the expatriate screening program, it was decided to adopt updates to the regulations and to adopt the new item coding system instead of the previous one in the unified purchasing program.

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