Oman limits free surgeries, medicines for expat government employees

The new measures come as the sultanate considers further spending cuts in its 2017 budget

Expats employed in Oman’s government sector are no longer able to undergo free surgeries for 18 conditions or obtain free medicines for six diseases.

The Civil Service Council implemented the new rules, which include cardiac surgeries and arthritis medication, from December 5, according to Times of Oman.

The decision covers both permanent and part-time employees.

The new measures come as reports suggest the sultanate is considering further spending cuts in its 2017 budget.

A draft budget for 2017 foresees a 5 per cent cut in spending from this year’s budget, and no increase in revenues, sources told Reuters earlier this month.

This follows a higher than expected deficit this year, totaling OMR4.4bn in the first nine months of 2016.

Read: Oman looking at spending cuts in 2017 budget – sources

The country has also cut benefits to employees of state organisations and is considering plans to privatise a number of assets.

In November it increased work visa fees for expats by 50 per cent.

Read: Oman to increase expat work visa fees by 50%