Tuesday, November 17, 2009

General Hospital...Oman version

Well, I've had my first run-in with the general hospital here in town....(can you guess? Batinah smallish town starting with R....former capital, like most medium sized Omani towns...) I must admit it was better than my experience at the polyclinic, however, surprise rectal exams at 2 AM are never a fun time.

Lots of interesting things go on in developing world hospitals...more to come on that in my book, but for the time being, I need some advice from any of you discerning hospital-goers.

I may have to have my appendix out this weekend (yet another bacteria wrecking havoc on my digestive system) and am wondering if anyone has heard anything particularly positive or negative about the general hospitals here in Oman. Our health insurance won't cover any hospital, but I'd like to know what I'm getting into before the ether kicks in....


Karim said...

I am Omani, so I might be a bit biased. But hospitals in Oman are generalyy good, and the operations you will undergo is quite simple.

A western collegue of mine was involved in a horrific car accident, during which he sustained multiple fractures to his limbs (all of them) 2 broken ribs and a fractured collar bone, he was operated on at Khoula hospital, and had to undergo multiple operations to install multiple metal plates all over his body, we nick name him wolverine.

He was woriied that he will never be able to write let alone walk, as he suspected that the doctors here have ruined the nerve pathways in his legs and his hands.

But when he got himself checked at a hospital back home on Europe, they gave our doctors 10/10 and 2 thumbs up for a job well done, and they told him that looking at his exrays just after the accident, chances are he would have had at least one permanenet nerve damage, he had none, he had an excellent neurologist.

Clare said...

Hi Karim,
That's great to hear and I'm glad your colleague is better than he could be! I feel more reassured.

Anonymous said...

I echo Karim's words, with the caveat that I only know about the hospitals in Muscat. Khoula/Nahda are both very good.

Couple that with the fact that your operation would be a routine one and I'd say you're more than sorted.

-Omani in US

Jet Driver said...

Be wary of some Indian doctors who just want to put an appendectomy on their list of "belt notches".

I was recommended to have knee-joint replacement surgery by one doctor when all I needed was three week's physio.

REMEMBER: They get paid on a sliding scale according to the operations that they perform.

Get a second opinion at Muscat Private.

You have been warned!


muscateeress said...

I am a Western Expatriate, who has lived and worked in Oman (in the health care system) for the past 10 years.....I would have NO hesitation in being treated (in fact, have been admitted for a few weeks at a time) and/or operated on in a hospital in Oman!!
Oman appeared in the World Health Organisation top 20, in illustrious company such as France and Germany.
Go for it hon....hope you feel better soon xx

Moe said...

Oman Healthcare system is great there is no doubt about that. Yes it is ranked highly by the WHO, but the basis for the WHO ranking isn't what involves your case. WHO ranks the nations by % of population vaccinated, infant mortality rates etc and hence the high ranking

Now to the appendectomy that you may undergo. As mentioned in other comments, it is a straight forward procedure that doesn't differ anywhere in the world (ie the same steps of what to cut 1st etc). The only difference would be the route of surgery, which again depends on what the surgeon is comfortable with. There is an open approach, which is the classic 'take my appendix' out scar in the bottom right part of your tummy. or the Laparascopic route (4 small cuts in your tummy to stick tubes in and take it out).

My guess that the Beautiful R hospital (which I have visited) is going to go with the classic approach. The surgeons are very competent in that hospital. Alot of people are biased to Muscat hospitals but there are some great doctors in the peripheral hospitals. It has been the MOH policy to send experienced doctors out to the regions to improve standards. And by the way the R hospital is a teaching hospital with many students doing rotations there. While in Oman I saw another expatriate patient who had their appendix removed laparscopically. SO i think you are in safe hands.

The only downside to healthcare in Oman that i can mention is the communication. We are fortunate here in North America, where our doctors tell us everything. Even details we might not want to know. But that problem I have found stems from communication issues. Mainly the doctors are from South Asia, and their arabic isn't terrific. It is also very hard (as I have found) to explain medical terms and details in arabic. But with expatriates I found the doctors very good with communicating all of the information.

PS: Whatever you are going to get is better than natural orifice surgery, where they use the body's natural openings to gain access to the surgical area. For the appendix that would involve sending a looooong tube from the mouth to the appendix and cutting it from within. If this is offered in Oman, do not take it!!(joke, only offered in a handful of centers mostly in North America)

Get well soon and get back to bloggin!

Clare said...

Thanks everyone. I actually didn't know Oman ranked so high. Good to know, although I definitely know what JD means about 'belt notches'. A few were clamoring for my appendix before the results were even confirmed. All in all I feel much better about it though. And I also happen to feel much better in no operation alhamduliah. I'll keep all this info in my back pocket though.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Clare,

Do you have a private/anonymous email account? I have some comments regarding your query, as I am specialized in this field (health care in the Middle East, specifically Oman). I could weigh in on this, but rather would not do it in a public forum.
And, no, my unwillingness to discuss this publicly does not reflect any negative feelings on HC here. It's just a matter of professionalism.

Clare said...

I have an email account for this blog now. I'm interested to hear what you have to say.