On Sunday, October 1, 2023, the Sultanate of Oman hosted the eighty-sixth meeting of the Health Ministers Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Yemen at the headquarters of the Advisory Board of the Supreme Council of the GCC in Muscat. The meeting was attended by their excellencies and dignitaries, the health ministers, and accompanying delegations.
The eighty-sixth meeting, in its forty-eighth session of the Health Ministers Council of the GCC, included a speech by His Excellency Dr. Hilal bin Ali Al-Sabti, Minister of Health of the Sultanate of Oman. In his speech, he welcomed everyone to the Sultanate of Oman and expressed his wishes for a pleasant stay. He also expressed his personal delight in participating in the eighty-sixth meeting, which is part of the GCC countries’ efforts to enhance cooperation in developing the healthcare system in the Gulf region. He extended his sincere thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for organizing the previous session, which contributed to the development of the healthcare sector in the GCC countries.
His Excellency also expressed his deep gratitude to all those who contributed to the preparation of this meeting, hoping that the conference’s proceedings would be successful in advancing the healthcare sector in the GCC countries for the benefit of all.
In his speech, Mr. Suleiman bin Saleh Al-Dakhil, the Director-General of the GCC Health Council, said, “Today, we meet in the Sultanate of Oman to witness the convening of the eighty-sixth meeting of the Health Ministers Council of the GCC in its forty-eighth session. I am honored to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation, on my behalf and on behalf of the GCC Health Council, to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and to His Excellency Dr. Hilal bin Ali Al-Sabti for their gracious hospitality and generous hosting of this meeting. I also thank the honorable ministers for their attendance.”
He added, “Our meeting today takes place at a time of significant developments in the healthcare sector, which requires joint action and continuous cooperation to address challenges and achieve successes. Joint Gulf cooperation in the healthcare sector has always been a model to be emulated, as we have collectively contributed to achieving many accomplishments that have benefited the region. Our meeting today aims to support the continuation of this cooperation and the achievement of desired goals, and to elevate healthcare services to meet the aspirations of the Gulf people.”
During the conference, the proposed resolutions were reviewed by the health ministers of the GCC countries for approval. These resolutions covered various healthcare topics and areas, including the Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The following decisions were made:
- Approval of the Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s plan for 2024.
- Approval of the sharing of health data with the World Health Organization.
- Approval of the cooperative work mechanism with the health ministries of the GCC countries.
Regarding the screening of expatriates, updates to the regulatory framework for the expatriate screening program were adopted. A new coding system was approved to replace the previous one in the unified procurement program. Additionally, the Gulf guidelines for registering medical devices and equipment and manufacturing companies were approved.
As for the central registration, the following decisions were made:
- Adoption of updates to the guidance manual for change requests.
- Adoption of updates to the application form for deregistering a centrally registered product.
- Approval of regulatory procedures for pharmaceutical factories similar to those for pharmaceutical products.
In the field of the Gulf Classification Committee, the adoption of a model for the central classification certificate with the requirement to attach the product’s artwork was approved.
Regarding drug pricing, updates to the price certificate model for the reference countries in the Health Council were approved, with a total of 18 countries included.