Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Giving birth in Oman


In another one of my series, MM guide to Oman, here's the skinny on giving birth, as an expat, in Oman.

Basically there are, in Muscat, 5 Private hospitals (well, Badr has multiple branches) worth mentioning:

Muscat Private Hospital
Starcare Hospital
Badr Al Sama Hospital
Atlas Star Medical Centre
Apollo Medical Centre

There is also the Aster Al Raffah Hospital, but I attempted to call them 4 times across an entire day and they failed to even answer their phones - so I could not possibly even include them in the above list.

Starting from the top:

Muscat Private Hospital

MPH is the biggest private hospital in the country, and is also the most expensive hospital to have a C-Section birth in. They are located in Bowsher and their number is 2458 3600.

Traditional birth - RO 600
C-Section - RO 1450

9 months Ante-natal package with 12 consultations and 3 scans is RO 495

However, if you were to book and pay for in 1 hit the ante-natal package and a birth package, you'd get 15% off, bringing total cost of antenatal + birth to either RO 930.750 or RO 1653.250 depending on the method of delivery.

Starcare Hospital

Starcare Hospital is a relatively new private hospital and is situated on the same road as the Muscat City Center in Mawaleh. Their number is 2455 7200.

Traditional birth: RO 600
C-Section - RO 1200

9 months Ante-natal package with 12 consultations and 4 scans is RO 400

Bringing the total cost to RO 1000 or RO 1600.

Badr Al Samaa

This is a chain of hospitals, with branchs in Ruwi, Khuwair and Khoud. Their phone number for the Ruwi branch is 2479 9760.

Traditional birth: RO 250
C-Section: RO 450

There were no Ante-natal packages that I could find out about, but I did learn that an ultrasound scan is RO 8.

Atlas Star Medical Centre

This place is situated in Ghubra very close to Muscat Grand Mall. Their phone number is 2450 4000.

Traditional birth: starting at RO 135

Apollo Medical Centre

This place is in Hamriyah, their phone number is  2478 7766

Traditional birth: RO 175
C-Section: RO 450


Now, something that all of the above hospitals have in common is this: They are not setup to handle complications in child birth - should you have an emergency then you will be transferred to one of the Government hospitals in Muscat - SQU, Royal (Ghubra) or Khoula (Wattayah). The costs quoted above are basic guide costs. Should you need inducement, or something else, then they will attract additional costs too. An emergency trip to one of the Government hospitals (which are world-class in their services on offer - at all times of day and night) will run you around RO 100. I should also point out that should you go into labour outside of "office" hours, eg 2am - then your Doctor will most probably not even be there in the Private hospitals - you'll probably just have the mid-wife and that's it.

Once you have had your baby (or babies!) then there is still more to do. Every new mother in Oman gets a green maternity record card which is issued by the Ministry of Health. When you have given birth, you are issued with a letter from the hospital you are in to confirm the birth. You then need to take this to the government clinic in Darsayt, the same place where you go for the blood test for your employment visa.

They will produce a birth certificate which you then also need to have attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attestation office in Shatti Al-Qurum (because giving you a simple Birth Certificate would be too easy). Finally, you can then get that attested by the embassy/consulate of your home country which will also help you with the paper work for getting a passport for the baby. Your baby needs a visa to reside in Oman - I understand the grace period is 180 days to get a passport sorted out for your baby, and a new visa stamped into it.

Please feel free to add any relevant bits of information that I have probably missed!

le fin.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Informative post! Are the private hospitals different from the government ones in that husbands can stay with their wives during birth or is the birthing floor "ladies only?"

Anonymous said...

For myself, I was in starcare, my husband could sleep in the room overnight. Then my baby was transfered to special care in SQU, and there only me could stay overnight, which is already a good thing.

Anonymous said...

The procedure is the same in UAE for the child' documentation except hospital bills will either be double or triple. Saying that if your child is born in UK or anywhere else to a GCC parent the procedure for birth certificate is same if want to bring the child out here. The procedure is same for marriage certificates too for GCC married to non-GCC.

A. A. Ali

Ian McNaught said...

Anonymous 1's question is a very important one. Most western expats would take for granted that the husband can be there for the birth. MPH, Starcare and Apollo don't have a problem with it. From what I've heard Atlas do. We looked at Starcare and Apollo and decided the main difference came down to a lick of paint, so chose Apollo because it was a lot cheaper (plus prenatal care was mostly covered on our insurance if we went there). The only complaint we had was we weren't that impressed by their pediatrician (they had a great one before, but he left) so have been to starcare for that since.

Anonymous said...

I was in Atlas Hospital. husband cant stay with Wife during birth time. Other wise Atlas is good one, But good doctor left to star care hospital.

Anonymous said...

What About KIMS hospital in Darsait?

Kate said...

You don't have to go to a big hospital for antenatal care, except for the 2 main scans, assuming everything is going to plan. I could have had antenatal appointments with a midwife at my local clinic (but I liked my doctor and chose to go to the hospital).

Also, it is a bit simplistic to say that you will be transferred to a government hospital "if there are complications". MPH has ICU care now, and they can cope with a great many of the potential complications of birth. I'd be interested to know what would warrant being transferred to a govt hospital.

Kate said...

Interesting and useful post though (I meant to say).

ynotoman said...

I would also mention KIMS in Darsait (near Municipality)

Anonymous said...

Private hospitals are well equipped to handle common complications of childbirth. Expats cannot deliver in government hospitals unless they are high risk.

Anonymous said...

What is an inducement and what does it involve?

Anonymous said...

We are from UK and opted for ante-natal care at Hatat Polyclinic - Hatat House just off Wadi Adai roundabout. We found the care to be of good standard and significantly cheaper than MPH. After 32 weeks we were referred to MPH (hospital of our choice) where we had a couple of consultations and a normal delivery.
We arrived between 2am and 3am for the delivery, and the doctor arrived very quickly. Post-natal care was of also of high standard.
I looked into Al-Raffah for the delivery, but the place was chaotic and I couldn't get the information I wanted from them, so no surprise you couldn't get through on the phone!
I personally would avoid Badr Al-Sama and Atlas with reason. I know a family that delivered C-Section at Apollo and were very happy with them.
I didn't need to have birth certificate attested by MOFA.

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous- I would double and triple check that you don't need the birth certificate attested by MoFA.

Kate said...

Yes, my doctor at MPH would have been there day or night whenever I gave birth. (I was thoughtful and went for 3 in the afternoon :)

Anonymous said...

I gave birth at MPH at 6 in the morning. I asked about the 2 am/3 am situation, as this was when I went into labor, and there is always a doctor on call on the premises. It might not be your doctor, but there is definitely one there. I was lucky to have mine.
The mid wives there are great, you can call any time night or day to ask them questions when you get close to your time.
Husband could sleep over and the rooms were really comfortable, you can also have a look at those beforehand.

Anonymous said...

All the hospitals mentioned are mainly in Capital City. Would like to know what about procedures in interiors where there is no private hospitals.

Secondly I do think most of the hospitals except MPH are all polyclinics and located in makeshift premises. I wish Govt should take initiative in providing land to investor to develop more and proper purpose made building for the hospitals.

ALIF KHAN

Anonymous said...

My wife recently delivered a premature baby in Badr Al Sama. I got a bill of more than RO 2,500. Can you believe that... In India I could have got away from the same situation in less than one third the cost with a much better quality medical treatment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alif, Yes MPH was the only Hospital few years ago. Now there are 3 or 4 good ones in the City. The new one, Starcare Hospital, I hear is maintaining standards high. They even got JCI accreditation within their first year itself. Not many in UAE even has done that. Better to avoid polyclinincs and Medical Centres for delivery as they may have only basic facilities.

Anonymous said...

For mysely,a C Section cost me OMR 790 / - RIALS at Badr Al Samaa.So,I would comment as OMR 450 / - for a C Section is only on the papers,not in reality....

Anonymous said...

in my case, in Atlas hospital, normal delivery bill around 200.

Anonymous said...

What do you do if you don't have the Green Card or a valid visa at birth? Can you still get a birth certificate for the baby?

Sythe said...

I have no idea, presumably you would ask the hospital you gave birth in to provide you with a green card?

riveraaissa said...

Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very informative! So happy to be given a privilege to post a comment here.

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www.joeydavila.net

Waleed Rabin said...

Thanks so much for the info, me and the missus are planning to have our first here in Oman, so we feel a bit out of our depth here. One question I'd like to ask though. Is there any information regarding Medical Insurance for maternity for expats.
My current insurance doesn't cover maternity.