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Qatar Healthcare

Qatar offers access to some of the best quality healthcare facilities in the world. Qatar has excellent emergency health facilities and routine treatment facilities. Although healthcare is free or highly subsidised, for non-Qatari residents and those who are not liable for the publicly funded national health plan, these healthcare facilities can be quite expensive.

The National Health Authority (NHA) was established in 2005 to replace the Ministry of Public Health. The NHA overseas the necessary medical services and entrusts them to public health institutions, the main one being the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). The capital city, Doha, has numerous hospitals and clinics. Health centres have also been set-up along the highways for ease of access.

Since the country opened its first hospital 50 years ago, many changes and improvements have been introduced. The healthcare system is available to all; whether you are a national, expatriate or a tourist. Qatar has a public health service that provides free or highly subsidised healthcare and, generally speaking, it is of an excellent standard.

The one possible exception to this may be treatment for highly specialised services. Although the healthcare system has been substantially improved, it is not without its problems. A growing population, coupled with an increased need for expensive treatment, is costly to run.

There are nine hospitals in Qatar, five of which are government operated and four which are privately run. In 2006, there were a total of 2,077 hospital beds, which equates to approximately 25 beds per 10,000 of the population. Some of the main hospitals include the Hamad General Hospital, which has 616 beds covering all general medical areas, with specialities in paediatrics, surgery and internal medicine; the Rumaillah Hospital and the Al Amal Hospital, a ground-breaking specialist centre for the detection, treatment and rehabilitation of cancer. In 2006 there were 27.6 physicians and 73.8 nurses per 10,000 of the population.

The ambulance service received a major boost in numbers in 2002 and, as such, ambulances are available nationwide. As a result, there is a low average response time to an emergency call. To further improve the service, ambulances are linked to the Hamad Hospital via satellite.





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