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Health Sector Profile

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Qatar’s health system is primarily financed by public sector spending (78% in 2010) with the balance contributed by the private sector. Qatar’s foremost health care providers are the state-owned Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Primary Health Care (PHC). These organisations and private health care providers are overseen by the Supreme Council of Health. Public health care is provided free to citizens of Qatar and expatriates pay a small fee.

Qatar continues to invest significantly in the country’s advanced healthcare system, not least to keep up with the country’s rapidly growing population. As well as increasing public spending on health, the government is also encouraging further development of the private sector. The table below show some main indicators of the size of the health sector up to 2009; it is anticipated that there has been a significant expansion in facilities and personnel since then.

Main Health Indicators

Qatar

2007

2008

2009

Number of hospitals

9

9

9

Number of beds

2,034

2,034

2,017

Number of physicians

3,584

4,610

5,217

Nursing staff

7,175

8,428

8,291

 

 

 

 

Source: Qatar Statistics Authority

The National Health Service Strategy 2011-2016 is a plan that is intended to push Qatar towards the health goals contained in the Qatar National Vision 2030.  These goals are:

  1. A comprehensive world-class healthcare system.
  2. An integrated system of healthcare.
  3. Encouraging preventative healthcare.
  4. A skilled national workforce.
  5. A robust policy and regulatory framework (a “national health policy”).
  6. Monitoring and control of healthcare costs.
  7. High quality research.

 

Qatar aims to achieve these objectives through continued investment, organisational changes and engagement with key stakeholders. A key component of achieving goal 6 is the proposed introduction of compulsory health insurance for expatriates in 2012.

Qatar also aims to become a centre of excellence for medical research in the Gulf, which so far has been achieved through ventures and research projects of the Qatar Foundation. The foundation is also the primary source of funding for the Qatar Science and Technology Park (located in Education City) in which a number of technology-based companies some of which are developing medical solutions are located. Also in Education city are Weil Cornell Medical College in Qatar, which is in the process of developing significant research and training facilities and Sidra Medical and Research Centre, an academic research institution set to open in 2012 that will focus on research into comprehensive care for women and children.

The developments involved in achieving the objectives described above should create many potential opportunities for specialist healthcare providers and for businesses providing support services to health care providers. The Supreme Council of Health provides detailed guidance on the required procedures required by anybody wishing to set up a business in the health sector. Click here to download a map of the registering and licensing process for a health practitioner in Qatar.

 

Qatar Development Bank's (QDB) support for the health sector

QDB provides finance to private health service providers such as those wishing to establish health clinics and support services. For applications with a loan size of less than QR 10million, indirect funding is provided through the Al Dhameen program, whilst for projects with a loan size greater than QAR10million direct lending may be available to finance up to 60% of the total project costs or up to 80% of core business related equipment. Annual interest is charged at 3% per annum with a 1% one-off, up-front fee. The loan period is up to 8 years including a grace period of up to 2 years in which no payments are due.

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