The Healthcare System of Qatar

An Overview of the Healthcare System in Qatar

Qatar's Supreme Council of Health (SCH) was established by Emiri decree in 2005. It replaced the former Health National Health Authority and Ministry of Public Health.

As noted on the SCH website,

The SCH’s role is to create a clear vision for the nation’s health direction, set goals and objectives for the country, design policies to achieve the vision, regulate the medical landscape, protect the public’s health, set the health research agenda, and monitor and evaluate progress towards achieving those objectives.

Another key SCH function is oversight of the quality and effectiveness of service delivered by primary care and hospital and other public and private sector health service providers to ensure that standards are met and performance targets achieved.

The SCH has a special role to play in ensuring that the public health of the country receives adequate attention. It oversees public health programs related to the control of infectious diseases, and coordinates with other agencies on environmental and public safety promotion. It is also our responsibility to ensure that the nation is prepared for any public health emergency

In short, the SCH is the steward of the health of Qatar’s people. It has the dual mandate to develop policies and programs to improve the people’s health so that they may enjoy longer and more productive lives, and to lay the foundation for a vibrant country for decades to come.


The Medical Licensing Department (MLD) establishes, maintains, and updates a register of licensed health practitioners and health service facilities in Qatar. The MLD licenses physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and a range of allied health practitioners, including psychologists, opticians, chiropractors, audiologists, paramedics, podiatrists, speech therapists, midwives, physiotherapists, dieticians, dental hygenists, and medical technicians.

The SCH website also notes, "From 1 April 2010, all applicants from the practitioner groups listed below will be required to successfully complete a licensing examination as part of the evaluation process:

  • General scope physicians
  • General scope dentists
  • General scope nurses
  • Midwifes
  • Pharmacists
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Physiotherapy Technician
  • EMT

The exams are offered at Prometric testimg centres in 164 countries worldwide.

The license issuance fees are:

  • Pharmacist and other allied health - 300QR/US$82
  • General Scope Doctors - 500QR/US$137
  • Specialized Scope Doctors - 600QR/US$165
  • Medical Representatives - 200QR/US$55
  • There is also an evaluation fee of 100QR/US$27

They have recently introduced an online register for physicians, dentists, nurses and   pharmacists, showing information about licensed practitioners, including their qualifications and scope of practice.


The SCH does not provide direct healthcare services; rather, these are the responsibility of public health institutions, such as the Hamad Medical Corporation and other private healthcare providers.

The Hamad Medical Corporation is made up of several hospital sites:

  • Hamad General Hospital (603 beds)
  • Rumailah Hospital (664 beds; 1982, Rumailah Hospital became a rehabilitation center for disabled adults, elderly people and handicapped children; it also includes plastic surgery, ENT surgery, ophthalmology, day surgery and a stroke unit
  • Women's Hospital (334 beds)
  • Al Khor Hospital (located 50km outside of Doha)
  • National Center for Cancer Care & Research (treats hematology/oncology patients aged 15+; provides radiation oncology service for patients of all ages)

HMC also operates numerous primary care centres.

Coming soon:

  • Sidra Medical and Research Centre (a state-of-the art, teaching, tertiary, pediatric and high-risk OB specialty hospital, scheduled to open in late 2012 with 388 beds, expandable to 550)

There are also other hospitals in the country, including several private hospitals and small specialty sports medicine hospital.

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