Features of medicine in Qatar: how private clinics, ambulance and medical tourism work
Qatar is considered to be one of the richest countries. Thus the level of medicine there is appropriate: the country almost constantly is on top of the list of the best among the Middle East states. Still, oil billions and ultra-modern equipment do not eliminate the individual nuances that one needs to know. Especially if the one is a guest of the Persian Gulf Golden Pearl.
There is no difference between public and private establishments in terms of service and comfort. In both cases, the patient will be awaited by the neat and well-made clean interior, comfortable chairs, air conditioning, a friendly attitude, and highly qualified assistance.
The probability of encountering an unprofessional doctor here is almost zero. For example, to be admissed as a doctor in a clinic or hospital of the Hamad State Medical Corporation, a specialist must have at least 5 years of practical experience, proved by certificates and positive feedback from his|her patients.
You can register for an appointment online or in person by arriving at the nearest state medical facility. However, in any case, you can get to the doctor only on a first-come, first-served basis. When making an appointment with a narrow-qualified specialist, you should add another 2-3 months of waiting and again a live queue at the clinic.
Upon arrival at the hospital or clinic, you will be registered. The staff will fill out a questionnaire, measure your height, weight, and temperature, listen to complaints and send you to wait. You must be prepared for the fact that the waiting time may take about 5 hours. And this should be considered as sheer luck: sometimes the timing reaches up to 10 or even 12 hours. The positive side of this aspect is that even in state institutions the chairs are surprisingly comfortable, and there is air conditioning and a vending machine with snacks and water (the prices are not inflated).
You can skip the issue of waiting by becoming a citizen of Qatar. Or contacting private institutions. There almost any doctor can make an appointment for you on the following day. But the cost of services will hit the wallet hard: a visit to a therapist will cost at least 100 US dollars (USD), and a specialized doctor — starts from 150.
It also should be noted that all institutions in Qatar accept hospital certificates and letters from public medical institutions exclusively.
All medical institutions in Qatar have two entrances — for citizens and for foreigners. The first category of patients, which also often includes citizens of the UK and the USA, does not presume any waiting in lines or having any troubles. However, even people from not wealthy countries are treated attentively and politely here.
Women and men are also dealt with separately. This applies to both residents and visitors of the country. Men are generally not allowed in the "women's" part of the clinic. Even the security guard will stand at the entrance, not in the waiting room.
There are male doctors in the "female" parts of hospitals. But they will not palpate or otherwise touch the patient. They will listen, advise, write a prescription and that's it.
Qatar is a country of ideological workaholics. Therefore, sick leave can be mercifully provided for a couple of days, and if there is a really strong need for this. A high temperature over 39C or the severe flu is not considered a potent argument.
It is really fast here, as every city has a sufficient number of vehicles. And ambulance helicopters can be provided in case of emergencies or traffic jams. The call is free. However, the patient will be taken to the department of the already mentioned "Hamad", where the appointment takes place according to the algorithm mentioned above.
Medical tourism in Qatar
During their stay in Qatar, many tourists experience problems or deterioration of the skin (flaking, dehydration, itching, feeling of tightness and dryness), dryness and discomfort of the eyes, conjunctivitis, nosebleeds, and breathing problems. The reason is dust, dry air, high ultraviolet radiation, and high temperatures.
Therefore, before going to this country for treatment, it is better to check all the pros and cons. Also considering other options is good. For example, in Israel: the prices will not be too different, while the level of general comfort will be much higher.
Note to the tourist
If you still need medical attention in Qatar, you should know that:
- All medical institutions are fluent in Arabic and English. If you do not speak either of these, even a government institution will find someone to help you with overcoming the language barrier.
- For any medical requests, including calling an ambulance, you must have an identity card. Without it, you simply will not be attended.
- Qatar clinics have a separate person who accompanies the patient from the admission unit to the doctor's office. Moreover, some parts of the institution are inaccessible if you are not accompanied by this worker.
- Minor diseases can be treated "on your own": any pharmacy has a doctor consultant who will be happy to help you choose the right drugs. However, it should be noted that usual medicines can be out of reach. In particular, this applies to pharmacology from Saudi Arabia, as it is subjected to an embargo.
According to the law, foreigners in Qatar must have a health insurance policy covering the entire period of stay in the state. The amount of insurance coverage must be at least 30,000 US dollars (USD).
Without it, the guest simply will not receive a visa and thus will not be allowed into the country.
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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