Qatar's healthcare system is of a high standard, comparable to other developed countries. Qatar's healthcare system is regulated by its Supreme Council of Health. The Supreme Council does not provide direct healthcare services; rather, these are the responsibility of public not-for-profit health care providers such as the Hamad Medical Corporation and other private healthcare providers.
The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) runs five hospitals and 24 primary care health centres and community clinics in Qatar. Non-emergency services at these HMC institutions are made available at a heavily subsidized rate to Qatari Health Card holders and residents (people with a residence permit) who have a Health Card. Health Card holders also receive emergency services at these institutions free of charge.
The State of Qatar guarantees health services to all citizens and residents in government medical institutions through a Health Card system. This system provides the cardholder with a medical record file containing all of their medical data, saved in the nearest health care center.
To apply for a Health Card in Doha, visit any HMC clinic and:
Health Cards are valid for the same number of years as your Residence Permit. Health Cards can be renewed online (Health Care and Well-being > Health Cards > Renew Health Card) through the Hukoomi e-Government website or at a Qatar Post office. You should receive your Health Card two to three weeks after submitting your application.
If you have just moved to Qatar and don't have a Health Card but still require medical services, you can visit any HMC hospital or clinic where doctors and specialists will still attend to you. However, you will not benefit from subsidized rates.
The Qatar health system allows cardholders to view information on any previous appointments that were previously booked at an HMC institution through their website.
Services at private healthcare institutions are not covered by the Health Card.
Although public health care in Qatar is efficient and affordable, there are a number of private healthcare options in the country. These can be quite expensive, and private insurance cover is a must. Many expats opt to visit private facilities because their employer provides them with private health insurance. Private hospitals and clinics tend to be of high quality, with short waiting times, and are staffed by English speaking staff.
There are a number of local and international health insurance providers in Qatar, and they offer comprehensive health coverage based on your needs. But before you go shopping for health insurance, you should check with your employer in Qatar about whether health insurance for you and your family are part of your employment benefits. If you are planning to move to Qatar and currently have private health insurance, it is worth checking with your insurance provider to see if you will be covered for any doctor/hospital/emergency room visits that either you or your family members may need to make.
All hospital and clinics in Qatar have physicians that speak English. The government of Qatar also provides a free e-Dictionary of Arabic and English medical terms online. At Hamad General Hospital you can also request an interpreter.
You do not need to be registered to see a physician at a public or private institution; however, you do require a government Health Card to benefit from subsidized rates at government-run facilities.
If you are a resident of Qatar (holder of a residence permit) with a Health Card you can find a physician through Qatar's Supreme Council of Health's Online Physician Directory. This directory indicates the name and place of work of all licensed physicians in Qatar, as well as the scope of their practice (e.g. general practitioner). You can also use this service to search for licensed dentists, pharmacists, nurses, alternative medicine, and other practitioners.
You can make an appointment at a public (HMC) facility by calling a health center 24 to 72 hours in advance. You can also request appointments at health centers in person.
When seeing a doctor at a public facility (run by HMD – Hamad Medical Corporation) you should arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. Friends and family are permitted to attend appointments with you if you desire.
You should bring:
When you arrive for your appointment you should report to an Outpatient Department reception desk with your Appointment Card and Health Card. All HMC facilities have different admission areas for men and women.
If you require a follow-up appointment, this can be arranged immediately. Prescriptions can be collected from the hospital pharmacy prior to your departure (hospital pharmacy times vary between hospitals).
Non-Qatari patients must make payment. Some hospitals only accept cash as payment, while others accept e-payments. You should verify with the institution before your appointment. Some institutions can also directly bill your insurance company.
Qatar has one of the best neonatal care programmes in the world and is one of only four countries in the world that offers a screening programme for inherited diseases in newborn babies.
Pediatric care in Qatar is organised and streamlined. The Supreme Council of Health offers a comprehensive immunization programme for all inoculations for children in Qatar up to age 6 (tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis [whooping cough], tetanus, haemophilus influenza, polio, pneumococcal infection, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella [chickenpox]). Children can be immunized at public or private hospitals.
All babies born in Qatar receive a vaccination card, which states the inoculation schedule and should be taken whenever a vaccination is due. Babies born outside Qatar should have records of any immunizations already received, plus a birth certificate, in order to be granted a Qatar vaccination card. These can be obtained from the Vaccination Centre Unit at Abu Hamour. With this card, vaccinations can be given at most government clinics.
Hamad General Hospital (run by HMC) is the main government-run children's health care unit in Qatar. It has an Outpatient Pediatric Clinic and patients may be referred here from one the Primary Health Care Centres in the public healthcare system. You can also make appointments at the Outpatient Pediatric Clinic, by calling the clinic directly on +974 4439 5777.
Most public health centers in Qatar have a dental clinic that provides emergency and regular check-up services. The normal procedure is to visit your local health clinic. As with a normal medical visit, take your Health Card with you. Basic dental checkups are free to Health Card holders with a nominal fee for prescribed medicines. If you are a visitor without a Health Card, you can get an appointment for a small fee, and you will need your passport or ID card.
If your local clinic is closed, you can visit one of the emergency clinics such as that in Al Muntazah.
Most private health clinics in Qatar also have a dental clinic, such as the private hospital Al-Alhi. You should note that not all private dentists in Qatar are licensed. To check if a dentist is licensed, search his/her name on the Supreme Council of Health's Dentist Directory.
Al Alhi Hospital (Private) Dental Clinic
Phone: +974 4489 8888
Consultant Dental Center (Private)
Phone: +974 4467 7166
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Doha is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Qatar. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
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Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Qatar: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.