In October 2021, his Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, enacted Law No. (22) of 2021 regarding the regulation of health care services within the State (the “Health Care Services Law”). The Health Care Services Law provides a new system for expatriates in the State, and visitors to the State, to obtain health insurance in order to receive the basic care services. This system guarantees the provision of basic health care to expatriates and visitors, in governmental and private health facilities.
What should you know about the Health Care Services Law?
The Ministry of Public Health is the responsible entity for setting out the standards for the provision of health care services in governmental and private health facilities, and for the provision of mandatory health insurance, and for its supervision. Further, the Ministry of Public Health undertakes to provide an integrated, high-quality health care system that is efficient and sustainable, and works to develop and maintain compulsory health insurance.
Health insurance has become mandatory for expatriates and visitors, as it is not permissible to issue or renew an entry visa for an expatriate or visitor, or to grant a residence permit or to renew it, and it is not permissible to employ expatriates, except after submitting proof of their participation in mandatory health insurance with coverage for the duration of their stay in the State. Further, the Health Care Services Law defines the rights and obligations of patients to be considered while receiving health care services and the obligations of the parties to the insurance relationship and health care service providers. Moreover, it defines the penalties for violators of its provisions.
Benefits of the insurance system
Providing of health care services to beneficiaries in emergency cases without requiring them to pay sums, until the critical condition has passed, even if the service provider is not within the network of health care service providers of the beneficiary, provided that the above does not prejudice the right of the health care service provider to recover the amounts from the insurance company, the employer or the recruiter, as the case may be, to pay for this service.
Regulations of the insurance system
The employer is obligated to provide health insurance for non-Qatari nationals and a specified number of his family members as well, through insurance companies registered with the Ministry of Public Health. The same obligation applies to the recruiter to provide basic coverage to those who recruit them and who are not covered by the aforementioned employer’s obligation.
Objectives of the insurance system
The insurance system aims to strengthen the partnership between the public and the private sectors by developing the health insurance industry and health services in the private sector. It also aims to reduce the appointments issued for citizens in governmental medical facilities.
Finally, the Health Care Services Law will be entered into force six months from the date of issuance in the official gazette. During this period the health facilities will be providing health care for all residents. The Ministry of Public Health will also issue all regulations related to the application of the Law and the health insurance system, and will publish the regulations during the coming period.
Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do feel free to contact us.
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