Oman only comes 8 among 22 MENA countries. What brings the country down on the list is lower expenses than many other countries, only 2.3% of GDP, and a lower life expectancy (ca. 7 years less than Israel and 2 years less than neighbouring United Arab Emirates). Life styles appear more positive, in the combination of malnutrition and overweight, Oman is among the highest ranked.
Omani health care services are provided by government, except for expatriates that have health care services paid by their employers. Oman comes in as number 4 among MENA countries. What brings Oman high up on this list is mainly linked to life styles of Omanis, largely related to healthy eating. In terms of expenses and actual infrastructure, Oman is more of a mediocre performer.
Omani health care services have in recent years gone through a process of Omanization, involving that many jobs are taken over by professionals fresh out of universities and colleges. World Health Organization considers this to be a potential risk in fall in services, although temporarily.
Oman has 58 hospitals, of which 9 are private, but only 5,367, which is one hospital bed per 512 inhabitants (2007). The same years there were 4,908 doctors, one per 550 inhabitants.
Health conditions and diseases
Malaria used to be a great health hazard until the 1990's, but today there are no longer any reported cases of people catching it in Oman. More and more, modern life styles cause new challenges to the Omanis. Overweight is affecting 50% of the adult population, and diabetes is rapidly increasing as cause of death.
Being a country of great contrast, underweight is a problem with children, affecting about 17% under the age of 5.
Life expectancy has gone up, and is close to European standards now. Fertility rates remain extremely high, with between 5 and 6 children per woman, but is going down. Infant mortality rate has decreased substantially over the recent years, but remains high. About 70% of infant deaths are related to congenital abnormalities. Marriage between close relatives is the main explanation for this, in 2002 40% married their first cousin, 50% their second cousin.
Figures of 2000 from WHO shows that 82% have good access to clean water, 87% access to good sanitation. There are major differences between countryside and towns for sanitation, 61% to 97%.