Healthcare in Qatar

Healthcare in Qatar is consistently rated as among the best in the Middle East. Both Qatar’s public and private hospitals are excellent, with highly proficient doctors, many of whom are expats themselves.

Many Qatari residents are guaranteed access to free or subsidised healthcare through Qatar’s public healthcare system. Private care, though more expensive, offers faster and often more specialised treatment. 

Before venturing to another country, make sure you have a health insurance plan you can rely on. Our international health insurance plans offer comprehensive health cover for when you are in your home country and abroad.

Having benefited from huge state investment, Qatar’s public hospitals and clinics are well equipped and employ highly proficient medical staff. The public healthcare system operates through the state-run Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Qatari citizens and residents can access subsidised and extensive public healthcare at HMC clinics or hospitals.

Public services are accessed through a government-issued health card, which can be applied for at any HMC healthcare centre. Although subsidised public healthcare significantly reduces the cost of treatment, expats may still have to pay for some medical costs.

Private healthcare in Qatar is a fast-growing sector and is driven by both popular demand for quicker service as well as the gradual increase in Qatar’s population. Private healthcare provides more options for specialised procedures. Private facilities are as good as public ones, with the added advantage of faster treatment and more options for specialised procedures.

As expat residents who use the public health system may find themselves still paying for some medicine and services, many expats invest in private health insurance to complement any public care that they may receive. Many expats also enjoy private healthcare because their employers either subsidise or provide for their medical insurance.

Pharmacies are common in Qatar, with many 24-hour pharmacies operating in Doha. Expats can also find pharmacies attached to most major hospitals. Qatari residents using their health cards can receive subsidised medicine from state-run pharmacies.

Although most medication is available in Qatar, certain prescription medications may not be available in the country. In some cases, expats find that medications available over the counter back home require a prescription in Qatar, and vice versa.

Qatar is a safe country and expats are unlikely to encounter any major health hazards. Despite this, expats should speak to their doctor at least six weeks before travelling to Qatar to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date, as well as Covid vaccinations.

Expats not used to searing temperatures can be susceptible to sunstroke and sunburn, as temperatures often reach 50°C during the summer months. Dehydration is also a risk during the hottest months. These environmental hazards can be avoided by drinking throughout the day and by staying indoors, especially during the midday heat.

999 is the general emergency number for Qatar and it’s possible to speak to an operator in either English and Arabic. Response times for public ambulances are fast countrywide, but especially in Doha. Ambulances are usually directed to public hospitals. Some private hospitals operate their own ambulance services. 
A choice of healthcare plans for employers with staff based in Qatar.