Qatar

  • Summary
  • Healthcare
    system
  • Health
    insurance
  • Facts and figures
  • Medical Tourism
  • Events
  • Related
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  • Industry
    participants

Healthcare system

The standard of health care in this very rich country is good, but can be expensive. Qatar has implemented national healthcare reform intended to alleviate the state of the burden of healthcare costs ...

Health insurance

By the end of 2015, all residents and expatriates in Qatar will be covered by a national health insurance scheme that will lock out other health insurers but with a window for them to offer treatment ...

Facts and figures

Capital : Doha
Population : 1.9 million
Healthcare expenditure : 2,028.8 US $
No. of doctors : 6,919


 
 
 

Medical tourism

Within this section, you will find published information on medical tourism numbers, our estimate of inbound and outbound medical tourism, and IMTJ news and external news that provide estimates of med ...
 
Inbound patients : Under 1,000
Outbound patients : 30,000
 

Industry participants

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Events

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Healthcare system

Qatar flag

The standard of health care in this very rich country is good, but can be expensive. Qatar has implemented national healthcare reform intended to alleviate the state of the burden of healthcare costs within the local Qatari population.

Health insurance

Health Insurance - State

By the end of 2015, all residents and expatriates in Qatar will be covered by a national health insurance scheme that will lock out other health insurers but with a window for them to offer treatment abroad.

By 2015, all individuals living within the country will have a private health insurance policy. In the case of local Qataris this will be funded by the government, however for expatriates employers will be responsible for the provision of appropriate cover, and in the few cases where there is no employer the expatriate themselves will have to buy cover. The fees will be paid annually along with the renewal of residence permit. Cover for locals will be wider than for expatriates.

Qatar’s universal health care coverage program will be launched in five stages and is expected to be fully operational for Qatari citizens and expatriates by the end of 2015.

Seha- the national insurance scheme now covers all Qataris in the country, and has been extended to include eye care and dental treatment.

The pilot phase of the NSHI was launched in July 2013 with Qatari women being provided coverage for maternity, obstetrics, gynecology and other related issues at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and a select of private hospitals.

The second stage was launched in April 2014.It includes all Qataris, offering them all basic health services at HMC and other private health services. Insurance is only from the National Health Insurance Company (NHIC), which was set up to implement and monitor the scheme.

The third stage in late 2014 targeted Qataris and expanded cover to 23 primary health care centres.

White collar expatriates and visitors are to be covered by the NSHI’s fourth stage in the first quarter of 2015 and blue collar expatriates in the fifth stage by the end of 2015 at three specialist labourers’ hospitals.

The country’s new health care insurance system- National Social Health Insurance (NSHI) is run by new state company National Health Insurance Company (NHIC). Qatari insurance company Al Khaleej Takaful is the third party administrator for NHIC to handle essential administrative processes and support building its capabilities.

NHIC will make annual contracts with healthcare providers, based on a unified schedule of fees and charges. NHIC will cover a basic bundle of health services. Other operators could also cover additional and optional services, which give room for partnership with different entities. Though insurance companies will not be able to cover basic health services for the next 10 years, they can cover additional and special services not covered by the main scheme such as cosmetic procedures and treatment abroad. All the public and private health care providers in the country will be included in the NSHI scheme within 10 years; it is up to each entity to attract customers by providing good services at competitive prices.

The local government owns the national insurance company and many of the hospitals, it seems that competing insurers will be locked out from providing cover for locals or expatriates, except for supplementary cover above that provided by NHIC. The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) is responsible for setting the amount of health insurance premiums.

The Health Insurance Law provides that health insurance premiums shall be set without discrimination in respect of age, gender, previous health status or any other risk factors. This is on both basic and top up covers. It seems that the executive regulations envisage that the ability of insurance providers to include a percentage of any premium as profit may be curtailed. Exactly what form of profit margin will be permitted remains to be seen.

There will be a change over period in 2014 and 2015 to allow employers time to switch from existing insurances that they are contracted to until renewal, to the new system. By May 2015, all private health insurers must stop offering any health insurance. Only if they are licenced, and only if they are newly approved by the SCH, can they even offer additional benefits health insurance.

Facts and figures

General InformationSource

Capital : Doha
Population : 1.9 million
Main languages spoken : Arabic
Main religion : Islam
International dialling code : +974
Internet domain : .qa
Gross National income (GNI) per capita : 123860 US $
WHO 2015

Tourism data

International inbound tourists : 2929800 arrivals
World Bank 2015
International outbound tourists : No data available
World Bank

Population profile

Life expectancy (male) : 79 years
OECD / WHO 2015
Life expectancy (female) : 80 years
OECD / WHO 2015
Population over 65 : 27.043 Thousand persons
UN 2015
Population over 80 : 2.401 Thousand persons
UN 2015

Healthcare workforce

Physicians (total) : 6,919 persons
WHO 2010
Physicians (per 1,000 population) : 7.74 per 1,000 population
OECD 2016
General Medical Practitioners (total) : No data available
OECD
General Medical Practitioners (per 1,000 population) : No data available
OECD
Specialist Medical Practitioners (total) : No data available
OECD
Specialist Medical Practitioners (per 1,000 population) : No data available
OECD
Nurses (total) : No data available
OECD
Nurses (per 1,000 population) : 11.87 per 1,000 population
OECD 2016
Dentists (total) : No data available
WHO 2006
Dentists (per 1,000 population) : No data available
OECD

Healthcare expenditure

Healthcare expenditure per capita : 2,028.8 US $
WHO 2012
Healthcare expenditure as % of GDP : 2.2 percentage
WHO 2015
Government expenditure on health as % of total government expenditure : 5.8 percentage
WHO 2015
Per capita government expenditure on health : 2384 US $
WHO 2015
Private expenditure on health as a percentage of total expenditure on health : 16.4 percentage
WHO 2015

Healthcare provision

All hospitals : No data available
OECD
Public hospitals : No data available
OECD
Private hospitals : No data available
OECD
Total hospital beds : No data available
OECD
No of hospital beds (per 1,000 population) : 1.2 beds
WHO 2009
CT scanners (per 1 million population) : 8.3 scanners
OECD 2016
MRI scanners (per 1 million population) : No data available
OECD
PET scanners (per 1 million population) : No data available
OECD

Healthcare activity

Hospital discharges : No data available
OECD
Coronary angioplasty (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Hip replacement (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Knee replacement (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Cataract surgery (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Hospitals - Average length of stay : No data available
OECD
Hospitals - Occupancy : No data available
OECD

Health profile

Breast cancer: Female mortality rate (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Prostate cancer: Male mortality rate (per 100,000) : No data available
OECD
Ischemic heart disease: Male mortality rate (per 100,000) : 151.2 deaths
WHO 2012
Ischemic heart disease: Female mortality rate (per 100,000) : 159.7 deaths
WHO 2012
Deaths due to HIV/AIDS (per 100 000 population) : No data available
OECD
Prevalence of Obesity (BMI >30) : 33.1 percentage
WHO 2008

Cosmetic surgery

Number of plastic surgeons : No data available
ISAPS 2013
Total cosmetic: All procedures : No data available
ISAPS 2013
Total cosmetic: Surgical procedures : No data available
ISAPS 2013
Breast procedures : No data available
ISAPS 2013
Face and head procedures : No data available
ISAPS 2013
Total cosmetic: Non-surgical procedures : No data available
ISAPS 2013

Obesity surgery

Number of operations performed : No data available
Metabolic / Bariatric Surgery Worldwide 2011
Number of metabolic/bariatric surgeons : No data available
Metabolic / Bariatric Surgery Worldwide 2011

Medical tourism

Introduction

Within this section, you will find published information on medical tourism numbers, our estimate of inbound and outbound medical tourism, and IMTJ news and external news that provide estimates of medical tourism activity in Qatar.

The IMTJ estimates for Qatar are based on the information that we gather and our view of the validity and credibility of this data. It is our view of what the real number of medical travellers is likely to be i.e. the number of patients who specifically travel for the primary purpose of healthcare. "No data available" means that there is insufficient information to be able to make any kind of realistic estimate.

Inbound medical tourists : Under 1,000
Outbound medical tourists : 30,000

IMTJ Commentary

Inbound medical tourists

There is no inbound medical data for Qatar. Potential sources of medical tourists have reportedly cut ties with Qatar. These countries include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, allegedly because of Qatar’s support for Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its alleged backing of Iran.  Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt have banned citizens from travelling to Qatar.

Outbound medical tourists

There is a National Health Strategy to develop local world class healthcare facilities. A recently published Cancer Strategy aims to reduce the reliance on patients receiving cancer treatment abroad. There has been a year on year reduction in government funding for sending patients abroad for treatment. The government is encouraging more visiting consultants/medical staff and investment in local healthcare facilities.
It is reported that most outbound self-paying medical tourists from Qatar travel to Thailand, whilst the rest go to Europe or America seeking treatment. Government funded patients go to UK, Germany and USA.
President Trump’s ban on tourists from Muslim cultures has deterred Qatari medical tourists from travelling to the USA.

2017 data

30,000 Qataris reportedly go overseas every year for medical treatment.

Dubai, as part of the UAE, is stopping Qatari medical tourists flying to Dubai and has instructed any already there, even if in mid- treatment, to go home.

2016 data

Hamad Medical Corporation reported:

•    2016: 395 requests for treatment abroad approved for new patients.
•    2015: 498 requests for treatment abroad approved for new patients.
•    2014: 612 requests for treatment abroad approved for new patients.
•    2013: 442 requests for treatment abroad approved for new patients.

19% of all medical tourists travelling from the Gulf region seeking treatment in Dubai are from Qatar.

2014 data

The Supreme Council of Health reported a 7% decrease in patients treated abroad, and an 11% decrease in patients treated abroad for cancer. The Hamad Medical Corporation further revised the list of providers delivering services in United Kingdom, United States of America and Germany to include more world-renowned healthcare providers selected based on robust quality and other key criteria. It ensured better value for money by signing provider contracts with quality standards and predetermined prices. The SCH and HMC also made improvements to the entire care pathway, piloted a patient survey and organized follow up care for patients.

2013 data

The Supreme Council of Health reported an estimated 90% decrease in overseas organ transplants, and a future model of care which included a reduction in treatment abroad: “The SCH and HMC are working towards reducing the number of Qatari citizens who require treatment abroad by ensuring more services are available in Qatar, where appropriate.”

2012 data

According to the government, in 2011, the State spent a total of QR1.2bn ($328.76m) for treatment of citizens abroad. According to official statistics about 2,000 government funded patients were treated abroad in 2012. The majority of patients flew to US or Canada to seek treatment for cancer while others underwent organ transplant or treatment for neurological disorders.

Inbound Medical Tourism

Qatar - National Health Strategy

01 May, 2014

Qatar outlines their national healthcare policy.

Source: National Health Strategy

Outbound Medical Tourism

Qatar blockade hits medical tourism flow

03 August, 2017

30,000 Qataris go overseas every year for medical treatment with most going to Thailand and the rest to Europe.

Source: Read the IMTJ news item

Trump damages inbound medical travel to USA

07 March, 2017

According to the NCHL 50,000 patients from 140 countries visited USA from July 2014-July 2015 in the 67 Hospitals that were tracked. Mostly from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Mexico.

Source: Read the IMTJ news item

Dubai cosmetic preferences

17 August, 2016

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital had 20,000 customers in 2015 and is on track for 28,000 patients in 2016. Patients come from UAE (51%), Saudi Arabia (53%), Qatar (19%).

Source: Read the IMTJ news item

Leading US hospital targets Chinese medical tourism market

24 October, 2015

Cedars-Sinai expects 250 patients from the Chinese mainland each year.The hospital gets 1,000 international patients each year, mostly from Gulf countries including Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

Source: Read the IMTJ news item

The State Cabinet has issued new rules for citizens sent abroad for treatment.

27 February, 2014

The State Cabinet has issued new rules for citizens sent abroad for treatment.

Source: Just Here Qatar
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Events

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Industry participants

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