Government-run Healthcare and the Health Card
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is the government-run, non-profit healthcare provider in Qatar; it runs five hospitals and 24 primary health care centres or community clinics. Healthcare services are available to citizens and residents of Qatar at a heavily subsidised rate at HMC clinics and hospitals. These subsidised services can be accessed using the government-issued Health Card.
Once your residence visa has been processed, you can apply for a Health Card at the Health Card Office in any HMC Clinic or the Rumailah Hospital.
Remember to take:
Copies of your passport and visa
Passport photographs (4cm x 3cm) – the official requirement is two, but the actual number is much higher. It’s probably best to get your passport photographs taken at one of the studios located in the malls, because the background and photo sizes will be exactly as required. The cost of getting passport photographs done is minimal and you will need a fair number for the entire residence visa and health card process, so be generous when getting passport photos printed.
A fee of QR100.
If you are applying for a health card for your child, in addition to the documents mentioned above, you will also need to take:
His/her valid birth certificate
His/her vaccination card
If you have just moved to Qatar and do not have your Residence Permit or Health Card yet, you can still visit HMC hospitals and clinics. Doctors and specialists will attend to anyone who requires medical attention, although you will not be eligible for subsidised rates without a Health Card.
While the public health care system in Qatar is efficient and affordable, there are also a number of private health care facilities. These facilities adhere to the national standards adopted by the Supreme Council of Health, but they are not covered under the Health Card. This is set to change in the coming years.
Qatar has launched its National Health Insurance Scheme. The first phase covers only nationals. Subsequently, even expatriates will be covered in this. Under the scheme, it would be compulsory for employers to provide health insurance for all their employees. Currently it is optional.