Ministry of Health (Bahrain)
The Government of Bahrain is fully committed to the policy of "all residents in the country enjoy the right to access comprehensive health care". This implies a determination to provide an integrated preventive and curative health services through a network of primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities. The technical and financial responsibility for providing this care lies mainly with the Ministry of Health (MOH) with coordination of other Ministries, private sector and the community.
The Minister of Health is a member of the Council of Ministers chaired by the Prime Minister of the State H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. The Minister of Health is assisted by the Undersecretary and five Assistant Undersecretaries. The Assistant Under-Secretaries are administratively responsible for financial and technical resouces , training and planning, hospitals, human resources and services, and primary & public health care services respectively.
The government is committed to Al Ma'ata declaration in 1979, a global world Health Organization goal "Health for all". From this perspective, the primary health care network includes 21 health centers and 1 clinic which act as the entry points for the citizens to high quality health care services in the island. These units are offering several curative and preventive services which are promoted through medical clinics operated by highly qualified family physicians and skilled general practitioners. Under the umbrella of Maternal and Child Health Care, various services being offered include but are not limited to antenatal and postnatal care, family planning, periodic women screening, premarital counseling, child screening and immunization, home visits and health education. Additionally, many curative and preventive dental services are being offered by dentists and dental Hygienists. The health care in the health centers are provided by medical and allied health services including nursing, pharmacy, clerical and medical record services, laboratory and radiological services. Physiotherapy services have been introduced lately at four Health Centers each in different region.
The Ministry strategic plan is to continue improving the quality and quantity of the services. Since early 1990's more clinics have been assigned for diabetic patients in the health centers, as well as clinic for elderly to improve the care to our diabetic and elderly patients. In addition, clinics are established for the care of youth and the adolescents in an attempt to focus on the problems of this very important age group. The dental services have also expanded to create a child dental care unit that can provide a special care to these patients mainly as the preventive aspects.
The Secondary and Tertiary care is provided by the Salmaniya Medical Complex, five Maternity Hospitals, a Psychiatric hospital and a Geriatric hospital. The total number of beds available in these hospitals is approximately 1375 (2007-Health Statistics). Around sixty thousand patients are admitted annually to different specialized wards and received the best medical and nursing care. The highly sophisticated Accident and Emergency Department received three hundred thousand patients who were provided with emergency and urgent treatment. More than twenty thousand surgical operations were performed including major and complicated ones where laparoscopes have been utilized. The Professional and Diagnostic departments: Radiology, Pathology, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy continued their efforts in supplementing and improving the medical and nursing services at these hospitals. Support Services, Sterilization, Security, Domestic, Medical Records and Communication also focused their efforts in providing the best and friendly atmosphere in the hospitals.
The environmental and occupational health care is the responsibility of the Public Health Directorate. It plays a major role in raising the standard of sanitation in Bahrain, control and eradication of infectious and communicable diseases through the following sections:
Communicable Diseases Section
Communicable Diseases Section/Expanded Program on Immunization
Food and Water Hygiene Section
Public Health Laboratory
Occupational Health Section
Health Education Section
Environmental health Section
With industrialization, increase in intensity of immigrant workers the Occupational Health Section is expanded and policies are formulated to protect the health of the workers.
There are approximately 8,859 employees working at the Ministry of Health.The Ministry is keen on the development and manpower training at all levels of the organization in order to fulfill the goal of self-sufficiency and Bahrainization.
The College of Health Sciences was established in April 1976 operated by highly qualified and skilled faculty members. The college is considered as the only institution in Bahrain that provides educational programs for nursing and allied health professionals, the Ministry employees as well as individuals from local and international health care organizations.
Other support services fall under the Ministry of Health responsibilities to facilitate the provision of Health care services embodied by Directorate of Financial Resources, Directorate of Human Resources, Training Directorate, and Directorate of Materials Management.
The responsibility for providing the Information Technology services to Ministry of Health lies with the Health Information Directorate.Hence , to ensure that Ministry's investments in Information Technology is beneficial and effective , the directorate is engaged in developing a new IT strategy for the coming years.
As we now enter the new millennium, the Ministry is facing with a number of challenges including the high and escalating cost of health services, the emergence of new and complicated diseases, the increasing awareness expectations of the population and as well as demand for top quality care, and the evaluation in technology and information.The Ministry Personnel will continue their efforts to work hard to ensure the provision of quality care health services Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives are accordingly launched in all departments and services.See more