Mandatory Health Insurance Policy in Qatar
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has recently announced the implementation of Law No. 22 of 2021 regulating healthcare services in Qatar, mandating a health insurance system to be acquired by all expatriates and visitors who enter the country.
The mandatory health insurance system targets all expats, including domestic workers, labourers and employees. Under the system, companies will provide insurance policies to their employees and their family members.
“Every expatriate who enters or works in Qatar will be required for basic health insurance through the company they work for or provide health insurance coverage for their family members,” said Adviser to the MoPH, Khaled Al Mughaisib.
According to the Ministry, the provisions of the law also oblige employers to provide health insurance for their non-Qatari workers through the insurance companies registered with MoPH to provide them with basic insurance coverage. The same obligation to provide basic insurance coverage applies to residents, who apply to bring someone to the country.
Speaking in a Qatar TV programme, he said that there will be a basic health insurance policy with deliberate amounts for all targeted groups as well as a mechanism of implementation.
“The mechanisms for implementing a mandatory health insurance system will be simple like requiring policy while renewing the residence permit or upon entering the country,” said Al Mughaisib.
MoPH stated that the law will be implemented six (6) months after its issuance, and during this period, services will continue to be provided to all residents.
The Ministry will issue and publish all controls related to the implementation of the law and the health insurance system during the coming period.
He stressed that the mandatory health insurance will come into effect after 6 months when everyone must have insurance.
“The targeted group will apply for insurance policy through their companies during the next 6 months to local private insurance companies,” he added.
A basic health insurance policy will be for all groups, and then a person can take additional insurance through private companies if he needs, the MoPH official furthered.
The health insurance will provide basic healthcare services to workers through healthcare providers in several government health facilities and the private sector, according to their insurance coverage.
To a question about monitoring the system, Al Mughaisib said: “The experience is new, we are establishing a health insurance industry, whether from the private sector that provides medical services or insurance companies and their support companies, and they will be responsible.”
“There will be many levels of monitoring within the ministry and through committees, and we have an electronic system that monitors operations on a daily basis and through mechanisms to know if there is any kind of exploitation,” he added.
The MoPH official further stated that the Department of Insurance and Finance at MoPH will be the supervisory body for the entire project, and that there are several levels for filing complaints, whether from individual beneficiaries, insurance companies or clinics.
MoPH affirmed that the said law would contribute to developing and regulating the health sector in the State.
The health insurance system will lead to the development of the health sector and services provided to the public, by alleviating the challenges facing the healthcare sector resulting from the steady population growth, through the participation of the public and private sectors in providing healthcare services to the population.
The system will reduce waiting times in the government health facilities in the country and provide appointments for medical consultations within a time that meets the health needs of citizens at the highest level of quality.
“One of the most important things in the decision of the new insurance system is that the right patient gets the right care in the right place, so the places of care will be determined in specialised hospitals or primary care centres,” the Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital, Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani disclosed.
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