In a complete overhaul of the current healthcare system, Qatar will require all residents and visitors of the country to have health insurance by the end of 2014, the Supreme Council of Health has announced.
Qatar spent more than $2.6 billion on health care in 2010, and has been working toward a national plan to improve the medical system, which is struggling to meet the needs of the country’s rapidly growing population.
Under the Social Health Insurance plan, the government will be responsible for insuring nationals while the onus of insuring expats will fall on the companies that employ them.
One possible idea is to link health care to visas, an SCH official said.
Under this scheme, those who visit Qatar will be required to purchase health insurance while obtaining their visitor visas, and the cost will depend on the duration of their stay, the official said.
The SHI will be rolled out in five stages starting in November, but will focus on shoring up coverage for nationals during most of this time.
Expats’ healthcare requirements will be addressed in the fifth and final stage toward the end of 2014, the draft law states.