Expat couples who are looking to tie the knot in Qatar must now undergo the mandatory pre-marital testing at private hospitals – and eat the high costs associated with it, according to a new law that took effect April 1.
Previously, free testing for all couples took place at primary health centers, which have now been reserved only for Qataris.
The three hospital authorized to do the genetic testing that has been required since 2009 are Al Emadi, Al Ahli and Doha Clinic.
Couples are screened for several diseases, including sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, syphilis, HIV (AIDS) and hepatitis B & C.
The Peninsula reports:
The private hospitals charge QR1,200 to QR1,400 for the tests which apparently have become an additional financial burden for many couples. This has also triggered calls to regulate the fees and allow more private facilities to conduct the tests so that the prices could become competitive…
The three hospitals have also been authorised to conduct the mandatory medical check-up for some segments of newly recruited professionals.
A senior official of the Medical Commission recently disclosed that very few employers are opting for the private hospitals to conduct these tests for their newly recruited employees due to the high fees.
Have you undergone testing before getting married here?
Would this have affected you?