Qatar Medical Services Update—The healthcare system in Qatar is consistently rated among the best in the Middle East. Qatar’s public and private hospitals are of excellent quality, and its doctors many of which are expats are highly qualified. Learn more as we discuss trends and updates on Qatar’s health system, especially it’s medical services.
Qatar’s public health system offers free or subsidized care to most Qataris, while private care is available to those seeking faster or more specialized treatment and care. Recently, the state is exploring alternative methods of dispensing healthcare that may impact both the public and private systems in the future. Among the examples is the Social Medical Insurance Scheme, which was suspended because it prohibited expats from accessing public healthcare, and made private insurance mandatory in recent Qatar medical services update.
Qatar Medical Services: Public healthcare
Qatar’s public hospitals and clinics have benefited from massive investments by the state and employ highly qualified medical personnel. Qatar’s public healthcare system is run by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which oversees all public health facilities in the country. HMC clinics and hospitals provide extensive and heavily subsidized healthcare services to Qatari nationals or residents. Government health cards are required to access public services, and can be obtained at any HMC healthcare center. Although subsidized public healthcare significantly reduces the cost of treatment, expats may still have to pay some medical costs.
Private healthcare and Qatar Medical Services
A fast-growing sector in Qatar, private healthcare is driven by the population’s gradual growth and the demand for faster service. You have more options for specialized procedures and are free to choose who will treat you with private healthcare. In addition to being as good as public facilities, private ones often provide faster treatment. The public health system may still require expat residents to pay for some medicines and services, so many expats purchase private health insurance as a complement to any public care they may receive.
The majority of expats also have access to private healthcare because their employers pay for their insurance or subsidies it. For these reasons, as well as the uncertainty regarding how public healthcare will be dispensed in the future, expats should explore their private healthcare options before moving to Qatar.
Pharmacies and Qatar Medical Services
Qatar has a wide variety of pharmacies, including many 24-hour pharmacies in Doha. Most major hospitals have pharmacies attached to them as well. State-run pharmacies in Qatar can offer subsidized medicine to residents using health cards. Despite Qatar’s availability of most medicines, there may be some prescription medicines unavailable in the country. Many Western medicines, such as antidepressants, are illegal in Qatar, and expats will not be able to get more supplies there.
Qatar is a very safe country, and expats shouldn’t encounter any major health hazards. It is still important for expats to see their doctor at least six weeks before traveling to Qatar to ensure that they have the necessary vaccinations.
As temperatures often reach 50°C during the summer months, expats who are unfamiliar with searing temperatures could be susceptible to sunstroke and sunburn. The best way to avoid these hazards is to drink throughout the day and to stay indoors, especially in the midday heat.
The universal emergency phone number in Qatar is 999 and can be answered in English and Arabic. The response time of public ambulances is fast across the country, especially in Doha. Ambulances are usually taken to public hospitals, but some private hospitals, as well as the Qatar Red Crescent Society, which operates its own ambulance service. Helicopter crisis salvage administrations are accessible the nation over.