A Qatar Guide for Tourists and Residents
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Healthcare in Qatar

Also see:
Giving birth in Qatar
List of hospitals in Qatar
Experiences in Doha Hospitals
Life Insurance in Qatar
Our sponsors - The Disabled Shop

All fees are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.


According to the World Health Organisation's country list no immunisation is required.

Health care

Most treatment is available in Qatar including psychiatric and cancer treatment. Qatar has invested a lot of money in its health system, doubling its expenditure over the last two years, and has first class equipment. Qatar obviously has ambitions in the medical arena: Hamad Medical Corporation hold regular conferences, have continual training for its medical staff, have started manufacturing medical equipment and hope to develop ‘health tourism’. However, the bureaucracy, as ever, is confusing and chaotic, and when I rang up to get more information and the receptionist couldn't understand my request, she hung up on me.

Currently, residents have to pay for public health care, but it is heavily subsidised. Qatar is planning to move towards a system of health insurance, although no plans have yet been announced. In the meantime, to reduce the strain on its health service, Qatar is encouraging the development of the private health sector. People who choose the private sector or purchase private health insurance generally do so for speed and convenience (and to avoid the dreaded bureaucracy!)

Health check

When coming in to the country you will have a health check. This will include a chest x-ray and blood test to check for diseases such as HIV. Failing the health test will mean being sent back to your country.


For non-emergency treatment your first visit should be to a clinic. (A visit to the clinic is also like a microcosm of Qatar society – watch the local nurses swan around chatting and attending to their nails while Indian and Philippino nurses do all the work). Which clinic you visit will depend on where you live. The clinic will refer to you the hospital for further treatment if necessary.

Charges (subject to change)

A single visit to the clinic costs Qr30/$8. Alternatively, buy a health card for Qr100/$25 (see below) which covers you for a year. Consultations and treatment (non-emergency) in the hospital often cost extra.

Medicine is heavily subsidised. For example, I recently purchased a course of antibiotics from a government pharmacy for five riyals (1.5 U.S. dollars). Expect to pay a lot more if you go private.

As mentioned above, the current system is due to be revamped and replaced with a system of health insurance.

Obtaining a health card

You can obtain a health card at a health card office – located either in your clinic or at Rumeilla Hospital. To obtain a health card at a health card office you will need photocopies of your passport and visa or your ID, two photographs (4cm x 3cm), the appropriate fee, your hospital appointment and health centre card and the completed application form.

The application form is written in both Arabic and English and can be completed in either language. It doesn’t have to be typed.

You will be given a number which you can use while you are waiting for your card. You health card should be available within two weeks.

You can apply or renew your health card at the Qatar general post office – details are on their website here.

Health cards can now be renewed online on Qatar E-government .

Disability equipment

Our sponsors, Scooters Direct UK, are a British company who export scooters and mobility equipment to the Middle East.

Children’s health

There is an excellent paediatric hospital in Al Sadd. Qatar does not have health visitors like the U.K., but does have a similar system of immunisation.

Admission to hospital

Hamad Medical Corporation provides extensive information on hospital admission here .

Useful numbers

Al Khor Hospital: 474 5555
Al Amal hospital (cancer): 439 7830/439 7829
Emergency: 999
Hamad General Hospital: 439 4444
Women’s Hospital: 439 6666

Paediatric hospitals:
Abu Bakkar: 469 9314
Al Rayyan: 480 3582
Al Sadd: 469 2948