Qatar offers state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in both private and public hospitals registered under HMC (Hamad Medical Corporation) for all its residents. The well-being of the nation’s inhabitants is well taken care of with experienced specialists available to all. Howsoever, in order to avail the paid-for services, one has to own a Hamad Health Card. The card allows free treatment and discounted rates for medications and other consultations.
Before we get started, let us briefly explain the difference between private and public healthcare in Qatar. If you get a health card, you can book an appointment with the nearest PHCC (Primary Health Care Corporation) branch to get yourself checked. The fee is waived off and the medication is subsidized. You might have to wait because the place is almost always crowded! And if you need to see a specialist, it can take a couple of months in the public healthcare sector to get you the first available professional. But, in the private sector, you can book an appointment and ignore the hassle of waiting, meet with a specialist of your choice, and if your employer offers an insurance plan, get your treatment cost covered.
Now that you know your options, here’s how you can get the card in four simple steps:
Step 1: Collect all the documents
Remember to place all your important documents in a folder and take them with you to the center. Here are the requirements listed on HMC’s official website:
· 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 the 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 the first-time issue for children born in Qatar), old health card (in case of renewals) and fees of QR50
· Adult Residents: Valid QID or passport with a valid residence permit, a passport-size photograph and a fee of QR100
· Children: Passport with a valid residence permit, a passport-size photograph, vaccination card (for the 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.
Step 2: Head to the nearest Primary Health Center
Now that you have all the important information with you, go to your nearest Primary Health Center to get the procedure started. If you are not aware of the nearest location, operators can guide you. Just phone 107. Remember that health cards are issued in the morning so you might want to get up early! Once you reach the center, fill out the forms as per the instructions and submit them. You will then be given a PHCC health file number.
Step 3: Pay the fees
HMC does not accept any cash so take your or a family member’s card with you. If you’re a Qatari resident or a GCC national your fee will be QR 50. If you’re an adult resident, you and your child will have to pay QR 100.
Step 4: Collect your card!
Sometimes, the center hands the card over on that very day. Other times, it requests you to collect the card after some days. With the brand new card in your hand, you’re medically secure!
Hakeem’s Note: In case you lose your card, you can pay the replacement fee (QR 50) and request a new card. But if your lost card needs to be renewed, you’ll have to pay QR 100. The fee for a non-Qatari resident is also QR 100 so you might want to keep your card with care. If you wish to extend the expiry of your card click here.
Gone are the worrisome days. Getting healthcare facilities has never been so easier, thanks to HMC.
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