Discover our health insurance policies specifically designed for expats in Qatar
Foyer Global Health covers expats’ health in Qatar who are seeking for a private health insurance solution tailored to their needs.
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Are you ready to start a new life in Qatar? With its sporting futuristic skyscrapers amid desert vistas and sand strewn beaches, this gas and oil giant located between the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. With its high growth rate , tax advantages, excellent medical facilities, and emphasis on safety, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of expatriates are choosing to relocate to this wealthy Gulf country.
Foyer Global Health offers a brief overview of what to expect to meet your healthcare needs in Qatar.
An Efficient Healthcare System
Qatar boasts one of the best healthcare systems in the Middle East, with the highest investment in healthcare among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The government funds 79.3% of the healthcare system, dedicating significant resources in recent decades to improve healthcare quality and services. In real terms, this means an increase in the supply of health services, state-of-the-art medical infrastructure, and enhanced healthcare accessibility. Similar to Oman, the government is also working to boost private sector participation in the healthcare sector.
The Ministry of Public Health oversees the entire healthcare system. The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), an independent body established in 2012, manages medical services in about 30 regional medical centres. The Hamad Medical Corporation, a non-profit organisation, runs a dozen public hospitals and the national ambulance service.
Public or Private?
While the private health sector is growing rapidly, the vast majority of healthcare is currently provided in public medical facilities run, for the most part, by the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). Among the dozen or so public hospitals in Qatar are the Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, and Heart Hospital, all located in Doha. In addition, there are also various health centres and specialised clinics spread throughout the country (north, centre and west).
Both public and private health facilities are equipped with the latest technology, and medical teams are highly qualified and experienced, ensuring efficient and effective care. Nearly two-thirds of the doctors working in Qatar are foreigners .
Many expatriates turn to private medical facilities for various reasons. Private healthcare providers usually have English-speaking staff and offer a broad range of medical specialties, as well as providing quickly responsive healthcare services. The private healthcare sector is a rapidly growing industry, backed by the government, driven by the demand for better care and a growing population. As of 2019, there were six private hospitals and over 200 private polyclinics in the country. Among the leading private hospitals are Al Emadi Hospital, Doha Clinic Hospital and American Hospitals Clinics.
One area where healthcare services in Qatar can be improved is psychological and psychiatric care services. Although improving mental health is part of the national health strategy, psychological and psychiatric care services are still limited, possibly due to the stigma attached to mental health issues.
The medical emergency services in Qatar are highly efficient and responsive, particularly in the capital city of Doha. To access these services, one needs simply to dial 999. These services are available in Arabic and English.
Health Coverage and Access to Healthcare for Expatriates
All residents in Qatar, regardless of nationality, have access to both public and private health services in Qatar. However, the new health insurance law, partially implemented in May 2022 (Healthcare Services Law No. 22-2021) provides that Qatari citizens have free access to public health services while residents, visitors or tourists are required to have private health insurance. Employers are responsible for providing this insurance to their employees to cover their basic healthcare needs and enrolling them in the mandatory healthcare insurance scheme. Self-employed expatriates are also required to take out private international health insurance.
Private health insurance is also a mandatory requirement for expatriates (for both adults and children) in order to obtain a visa or residence permit.
To receive treatment at a public health facility, you will need to obtain a ‘Hamad health card’ from the nearest Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) location to your residence. While the card does not provide free access to public healthcare services, it allows you to receive a discount on public health services. Once you have the card, you will be assigned a doctor who practices at the nearest PHCC and who can refer you to a specialist, if required.
In case of a medical emergency, all residents can receive treatment at both public and private medical facilities.
Foyer Global Health, your Health Partner in Qatar
If you are looking for international health insurance tailored to your needs for your relocation to Qatar, get in touch with our team of experts to identify the perfect fit health insurance plan for you!
To find a doctor in Qatar: https://dhp.moph.gov.qa/en/Pages/SearchPractitionersPage.aspx
To make an appointment with a PHCC: https://www.phcc.gov.qa/Patients-And-Clients/Appointments-and-Referrals ou https://www.phcc.gov.qa/en/Media/News/Naraakom-App-Launch
Ambulance service: 999
Health card information: https://hukoomi.gov.qa/en/service/issue-health-card