Free COVID-19 PCR Test in Qatar
Anyone can get infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the recent pandemic that is affecting millions of people and have taken many lives around the world.
Young or old, healthy or not, COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.
The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar urged anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to immediately contact the MoPH helpline 16000, or go to one of the virus testing centers, as the earlier the disease is detected, the easier and faster the chances of recovery from it.
Hamad Medical Cooperation (HMC) underlined that the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test is the standard test used to determine whether an individual is infected with COVID-19.
Chairperson of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at HMC Dr Einas Al Kuwari said, "The current gold standard test used to determine whether an individual is infected with COVID-19 is the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test. This is a highly sensitive test which is carried out using a swab of the back of the mouth and the top of the nose, and very accurately tells us if someone is COVID-19 positive.
Covid-19 PCR test is used to directly detect the presence of an antigen. The test will show if a passenger is / was positive or negative for COVID-19.
In Qatar, if you have a valid Qatar ID (QID), you are eligible to get a Health Card, which you can use to get a free COVID-19 PCR test. Other private clinics may require you to pay up to 500 QAR per person to complete this test. These fees can be avoided if you have a valid Health Card.
The four main testing centers include:
• Muaither Health Centre
• Rawdat Al Khalil Health Centre
• Um Slal Health Centre; and
• Al Gharafa Health Centre
• Once you are in the testing center, the medical staff will check your valid Health Card and which Health Center you were registered (according to the Health Center number at the back of your card). They may refer you to the right Health Center your Health Card was registered with.
• The medical staff will also check if you have suspected coronavirus infection and if you need to take a COVID-19 PCR Test.
• Once confirmed that you need to take this test, you will be placed in an Isolation Room alone, with a telephone wherein you need to take calls to receive instructions from the medical staff.
• Your assigned doctor and nurse will then come to your room and conduct the swab test.
• After the test, you will be discharged from the health center and advised to self-isolate at your home, in your own space, while waiting for your results (maximum of 2 days).
• You will also need to take home some prescribed medicines which you need to pay using your credit or debit card for a minimal amount (around 6 QAR, depending on the prescribed medicines) and the nurse will purchase them for you using your card that will be returned thereafter.
• If the result of your test is negative, you will be allowed to resume work or leave your house. However, if tested positive, the medical staff will provide you with further instructions including not leaving your house.
What is a Health Card, how to get it, and what are the benefits of having it? Read the full details below:
Citizens and residents of Qatar may apply for a Health Card to access the services provided by any of the public healthcare facilities or hospitals in the country. The Health Card is the same size as a driving license. It contains your ID number, nationality, photo and date of issue and are available to all residents of Qatar.
A state-issued Health Card is required for access to government-run health care facilities, including hospitals. The Health Card system provides free and heavily subsidized health care services to citizens and residents.
You must have an up to date health card to use the healthcare services provided at Heart Hospital and other Hamad Medical Corporation hospitals and clinics, as well as the Primary Health Care Corporation clinics. Health card holders may also have prescriptions filled at government-run pharmacies, at subsidized rates.
Expatriates living in Qatar must first obtain a residence permit before applying for a Health Card.
Consultations or non-emergency treatments may cost extra but will be subsidized for those who hold a valid Health Card. Holders of a Health Card can also have their prescriptions filled at a government-run pharmacy at subsidized rates.
Visit nearest Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) center nearest to where you live, fill out appropriate forms, and you will be issued a PHCC health file number.
Bring the following documents and pay appropriate fees:
Qatari Adults: Copies of your passport or ID, a passport-size photograph (4cm X 3cm) and a fee of QR50
Qatari Children: Birth certificate with Qatar personal identity number or passport, passport-size photograph, vaccination card (for first time issue) and a fee of QR50
GCC National Adult Residents: Copy of passport or ID with Qatar personal identity number, a passport-size photograph, your old Health Card (in case of renewals) and a fee of QR50
GCC National Child Residents: Birth certificate or passport with Qatar personal identity number, one passport-size photograph, vaccination card (for first time issue for childern born in Qatar), old Health Card (in case of renewals) and fees of QR50
Adult Residents: Valid QID or passport with valid residence permit, a passport-size photographs and a fee of QR100
Children: Passport with valid residence permit, a passport-size photograph, vaccination card (for first time issue and for those born in Qatar or who had their vaccinations in Qatar) and a fee of QR100
Domestic Staff: Valid passport with a valid residence permit, a passport-size photograph, original QID of sponsor and a fee of QR50 (as for professions approved by MOI for personal sponsorship)
All: A copy of a utility bill (phone, water/electricity) - this proves where you live.
• You must pay using a credit card.
• No cash is accepted.
• The health center will either issue you with your card immediately or ask you to return within a few days to collect it.
• Health Cards are issued during morning working hours only.
• Service Center
Nearest PHCC center to where you live.
• Consultations or non-emergency treatments may cost extra, but will be subsidized for those who hold a valid Health Card.
• Holders of a Health Card can also have their prescriptions filled at a government-run pharmacy at subsidized rates.
• You may also renew your Health Card online through Hukoomi.
• In case of loss of valid Health Card, a citizen pays QR50, and r resident QR100, and in case of loss of expired card, a citizen pays QR100 and a resident QR200.
• For more information about the service, call PHCC customer service line ‘Hayyak’ at (107).
• Renewing your Health Card is a simple process and can be done immediately at all HMC hospitals. Please ask the Patient and Visitor Service Center staff to direct you to the right location in each hospital.
• Cards can also be renewed online via Hukoomi (link http://portal.www.gov.qa/) Qatar Government Portal.
• If you lose your Health Card but it is still valid, Qatari nationals will need to pay QR50 for a replacement and non-Qataris will need to pay QR100 for a replacement.
• If you lose your Health Card and it has expired Qatari nationals will need to pay QR100 for a replacemenet and non-Qataris will need to pay QR200 for a replacement.
Once you got your health card, it is also important to register to MyHealth Patient Portal to easily track your COVID-19 PCR test result and other health records.
MyHealth Patient Portal enables you to access your key health records anywhere via the internet. The portal gives you access to key medical information including test results, upcoming appointments and medications.
It shows one single record of information, regardless of whether you were seen at Hamad Medical Corporation or Primary Health Care Corporation.
You will find all of the information you need to use the portal here on these pages.
You can get more information about MyHealth or assistance to use it by calling Nesma’ak on 16060 or Hayyak on 107.