Healthcare in Doha

 

 

Doha is undoubtedly one of the most favoured destinations in the Middle-east because of its stunning beauty and state of the art infrastructures. Expatriates who have decided to take their chances in the booming capital of Qatar can rest assure that their new host city is more than capable of providing prosperous jobs and world-class healthcare. 

Generally speaking, the State of Qatar is known for putting great emphasis on the welfare of its citizens whereas the local government is known for allocating the highest budget in healthcare compared to other Middle-eastern countries. Just in 2014 alone, Qatar spent nearly USD 4.7 billion on health care, a massive amount that significantly improved the quality of services in the public healthcare sector. Serving as the financial and economic hub of the country, it’s no doubt why Doha has become Qatar’s shining in gem in terms of modern medical facilities and excellent healthcare services considering that a huge number of the locals, as well as expats, are based in this city. However, foreign nationals bound to Doha must bear in mind that though there is a national health insurance scheme, they still need to take out a private healthcare policy or rely on the medical coverage from their employers. 

Coverage from Hamad Medical Corporation 

Over the years, in response to the growing population, the government has made the necessary improvements to the health care system starting with the establishment of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) which eventually became the country's leading non-profit health care provider. HMC basically offers heavily subsidised services to all Qatari citizens and foreign nationals that have permanent residency permits. These services can be accessed by providing the state-issued Health Card. Once expats receive their residency permits/visa, they can already apply for the card by going to the Rumailah Hospital or at any HMC clinic. Some of the documents that applicants must bring are: 

  • Copies of the visa and passport
  • At least two passport-sized photos
  • Proof of Payment (QR 100) 

For the application of your children's health card, bring their birth certificate and vaccination card. The processing time for a health card is usually two weeks, and while your card is being processed, you will be provided with an identification number so that you can already start using health care services. Keep in mind that subsidised rates are only available to HMC card holders. Expats who don’t have Residence Permit or Health Card can still go to any HMC clinic or hospital but still need to pay for the services in full. Private health insurance is also an option for foreign nationals since treatments in Doha, particularly in private hospitals can be quite expensive. 

Hospitals and Medical Services

Healthcare can be accessed through the numerous health care centres, hospitals, and clinics spread out all over the city. Doha currently has five public hospitals, four that are privately run, 23 health care centres and six public outpatient clinics (219 private clinics). The primary health care offered in healthcare centres has been extended to cater to various needs: X-ray, maternity and childhood care, and early diagnosis of cancer. In the Almuntzah Health Center, services like heart care and ENT have also been added; government funding for this has cost 1.3 million QR. 

Secondary care and more advanced medical needs are catered for by the public hospitals in Doha. Two of the most well-known hospitals are the Rumaillah Hospital and the Hamad General Hospital. Both offer an extensive array of medical services, advanced medical facilities, and world-class service. 

Hamad Hospital now has a total of 621 beds for inpatient care, a large outpatient department providing 65 speciality clinics, an Accident and Emergency Department, five intensive care units, eight operating theatres, and a pharmacy. Rumailah Hospital, on the other hand, became a primary centre for the rehabilitation of disabled adults, older adults and disabled children. The hospital has 306 beds, seven operating theatres, a laboratory and a diagnostic imaging facility with MRI, ultrasound and bone densitometry equipment. Privately run hospitals include: 

Ahmed Bin Ali St, Doha

Tel: +974 4489 8888

C Ring Road, Al Munthaza St, Doha

Tel: +974 4442 1999

New Al-Mergab Street, Frieg Al Nassr, Doha

Tel: +974 4438 4333 

Medicines and Pharmacies 

The manufacturing and distribution of drugs in Doha are being regulated by the National Health Authority which operates under the Qatar Ministry of Public Health. The general law in bringing medicines in Doha is that, the drugs should be in their original packaging and have the original prescription issued by the doctor. Keep in mind that some over-the-counter medicines in your home country might be considered as banned or controlled items by the Qatari customs officials. 

Medicines such as cough and common cold remedies must have original prescriptions. Anti-depressants, sleeping pills and hormone replacement therapy drugs are banned not just in the capital but also in the whole country. Controlled drugs, on the other hand, include morphine, codeine, ketamine, methadone and alfentanil. Purchasing medicines locally mostly require prescriptions from a local physician. Currently, Doha has an estimated total of 185 pharmacies and some of them are: 

  • Wellcare Pharmacy- Safari (Open 24hours)

Inside Safari Mall, Doha

Tel: +974 4468 0638

  • Al Rawdah Pharmacy (10am to 10:30pm)

Basement of Centerpoint Ml Al, Doha

Tel: +974 4432 5410

  • Al Hijrah Pharmacy

University Petrol Station Complex, Al Jamiaa St, Doha

Tel: +974 4483 3006

 

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