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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Giving Birth in Qatar

Having a Baby in Qatar: Personal Stories and Practical Information

Also see:

Healthcare in Qatar
List of Hospitals in Qatar
Giving Birth in Qatar: Website Article


I’ve had very good experiences with the health system here, and when my daughter was born in the Women’s Hospital (next to Hamad Hospital) everything went smoothly. (See Experiences in Doha Hospitals). However, not everyone has been so lucky. When my wife accompanied a friend to hospital yesterday, she found a poor lady in labour. Although the woman was already dilated two centimetres, she had been told to wait in the queuing system and had been there for three hours.

When my wife summoned a doctor, the doctor angrily told the women to go home and come back a few hours later (the women lived in a compound in a remote area of Qatar). Meanwhile, the hospital administration offered to book her a room – three days hence.

When the woman finally made it to the delivery room and begged for some painkillers, she was told it was too late. She delivered her baby a few minutes later, without even an aspirin for pain relief. It is perhaps telling that this lady was Indian and not Western, and I doubt that a Western or Arab lady would be treated in this way. Sadly, where you come from, and how important you are perceived to be, seems to affect the quality of service you receive here.



What my wife has found worst in Qatar (at the health centre and women’s hospital), has been the lack of communication. Whereas in the U.K. midwives told her everything she needed to know, in Qatar she found she needed to push for information all the time. You also need to be very clear what you want regarding pain killers, and it’s a good idea to tell your doctor before you go into labour what painkillers you want.

English is the lingua franca in the hospitals, and many staff can not speak Arabic. However, the level of English varies considerably. Obviously, this will cause difficulties and misunderstandings.

Registration and bureaucracy

Your initial check up will be in a health centre. When you go to the hospital you have to start a file, even if you already have a file in the clinic. This is called “open file”. Without this you can not have an appointment (apart from in the case of an emergency”). When you start a file you will need:

- photocopies of your marriage certificate
- photocopies of your and your husband’s ID cards/passports
- health card

Charges (subject to change): Government Hospitals

Appointment with doctor: Qr50($14)
Health card: Qr100($27)
Night in hospital: Qr100($27)
Scan: Qr100($27)
Medicine is heavily subsidised and very cheap.

Government hospitals: details

Emergencies: 999

The Women’s Hospital
Located in the same grounds as Hamad Hospital.
Tel: +974 439 6666

Al Khor Hospital:
Tel: 474 5555

Also see: http://www.hmc.org.qa/hmcnewsite/


All standard painkillers, including epidural, are available. Again, be very clear about what you want before you giving birth.

Special rules

Men are not allowed to accompany their wives while they are in labour in Hamad, though they may in private hospitals. After the birth, there is normally a delay before the mother and child are sent to the room and the father may visit. This may be several hours. Women are allowed to visit the mother for a few minutes but are not supposed to stay. However, exceptions are made if you fuss a lot – my mother-in-law was with my wife almost the whole time.

Mother and baby

Hamad’s policy is to keep mother and babies together as much and possible. You will not be separated from your baby without good reason.


My doctor friend from Hamad Hospital assures me that the equipment in Hamad is first rate, and superior to that of the private hospitals.

Birth certificates

Handily, the National Health Authority is opposite Hamad Hospital next to Lulu shopping centre. To obtain your birth certificate you will need a copy of each parent's passport (including visa) and paperork provided to you by the hospital - in the case of Hamad Hospital this is a vaccination card. You will need to complete a "New Born Notification Data Collection Form" which must include both parents' religion, occupation and qualifications. The cost is a very reasonable 20 riyals ($5)and the process takes about a week.

Private hospitals

One lady we met spoke very highly of the American Hospital here. You can also give birth in the other private hospitals listed at the bottom of this post. All the hospitals allowed fathers attend the birth. However, if there are any complications you will be sent to the Women’s Hospital.

Hospital details and prices

Prices include a two night stay. Doha Clinic Hospital and the American Hospital are covered by Bupa.

The Doha Clinic Hospital
Email: dohaclnk@qatar.net.qa
Tel: +974 432 7300
Location: New El-Merqab Street, Fariq Al-Nasr
Postal Address: PO Box 9958, Doha, Qatar
Emergency: +974 4327303
Consultation: Qr 150 ($40) for the first consultation, Qr 125 ($35) for subsequent consultations. 10% discount available with friendship card (cost 100 riyals), outpatient treatment only.
Normal delivery: Qr 6-7,000($1,600 - $1,900)
Caesarean delivery: 8-9,000 ($2,200 - $2,500)
Website: http://www.doha-hospital.com/

The American Hospital
Tel: +974 442 1999
Email: ahdoha@qatar.net.qa
Location: Al Muntazah, next to the Labour Department on C-ring road.
Postal Address: PO Box 22314, Doha, Qatar
Consultation: Qr80 ($20)
Normal delivery: 6-7000 ($1,600 - $1,900)
Caesarean: 7-9,000 ($1,900 - $2,500)
Website: http://www.ahqatar.com/

Al Ahli Hospital
Tel: +974 489 8888
Postal Address: PO Box 6401, Doha, Qatar
Location: Location: On D ring road, opposite Regency Hall and near The Mall roundabout.
Consultation: 200 ($55)
Normal delivery: Qr 6,500 ($1,800)(double room)
Qr 7,300 ($2000) (single room)
Caesarean: Qr 12,000 ($3,300)(double room)
13,600 riyals ($3,700)(double room)
See this discussion on Qatar Living for a positive report: http://www.qatarliving.com/discussion/al-ahli-hspital-14jul2006

Al-Emadi Hospital
Tel: +974 466 6009
Postal address: PO Box 5804, Doha Qatar
Location: Ahmed Bin Ali Street
Consultation: 1st: Qr 150 ($40), subsequent consultations Qr 100 ($25)
When I rang they said that they did not have one set price, and that price varies on the doctor’s diagnosis.
Website: http://www.alemadihospital.com.qa/site/


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