How the Medical system works in Qatar
Healthcare standards in Qatar are generally high. Modern medical facilities and Western-style pharmacies are available.
Qatar’s health system has undergone a momentous journey of transformation in recent decades. The growth of investment in new healthcare facilities, services and technologies has transformed the health infrastructure in the country, ensuring that the health needs of the nation’s fast-growing population can be met.
Qatari citizens are covered by a national health insurance scheme, while expatriates must either receive health insurance from their employers, or in the case of the self-employed, purchase insurance. The Healthcare Services Law No. 22 of 2021 (the New Healthcare Insurance Law) provides free healthcare services for Qatari citizens at public medical facilities, and mandating private health insurance for residents, visitors, and tourists came into partial effect in May 2022. The law is not yet in full effect. Before the law’s partial enactment in May 2022, most foreign nationals seeking work and residence in Qatar could enroll in a government health insurance scheme, a private health insurance scheme, or choose both options. Now, private health insurance is mandatory for non-Qatari workers in the public and private sectors and employers and sponsors must provide basic health services.
For decades, Qatar provided free health services to everyone in the country, costing the government $5 billion annually. This mandate is expected to reduce government healthcare spending, disbursed through subsidies on patient care, and allow re-allocation of government funds.
The announcement of the Law introduces several significant changes to the current health insurance system:
- All non-Qatari nationals and visitors in Qatar must have private health insurance for the duration of their stay to receive basic medical services.
- Qatari nationals/citizens will continue to receive free-of-charge healthcare services at government health facilities.
- Employers must enroll their non-Qatari employees and their family members onto the mandatory health insurance scheme through contracts with insurance companies registered with MOPH.
- Employers and expatriate sponsors must provide basic health insurance coverage to their employees
- Employers will need to prove their employees are covered by the mandatory health insurance scheme when issuing or renewing their residence permits.
- Basic health insurance will be a prerequisite for obtaining any form of permit or visa. Foreign nationals without health insurance will not be able to obtain a new visa or renew an existing visa.