Introduction:

In one of the recent steps in the continuous journey of development in the state of Qatar, a new health insurance scheme was introduced in November 2021 by the law number 22 of 2021 regulating the health services in Qatar. As per the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announcement on the matter; the new health insurance system will reduce waiting times in the government health facilities in the country and provide appointments for medical consultations within a time that meets the health needs of citizens at the highest level of quality.” i.e. will lead to the development of the health sector and the services provided to the public. The author will shed the light on the most important updates in the aforementioned Law.

The Law:

Law number 22 of the year 2021 regulating the health services in Qatar was issued in November 2021 and is supposed to enter into force in May 2022. It consists of 6 chapters including 48 articles divided as follows:

  • Chapter One: Definitions (1-5)
  • Chapter Two: Providing Healthcare services to Citizens (6-7)
  • Chapter Three: Providing Healthcare Services to Expatriates and Visitors (8-11)
  • Chapter Four: Obligations of parties in a Health insurance relation (12-24)
  • Chapter Five: Grievances committee (25)
  • Chapter Six: Penalties and Concluding Provisions (26-48)

What changed?

Expatriates, current businesses and visitors of Qatar will be affected by the new requirements provided in the Law. As per Article (8) of The Law, both Expatriates and Visitors must have health insurance in order to acquire the basic healthcare services. Business owners are enabled to provide additional healthcare services accordingly. Article (10) of The Law emphasizes on the mandatory of the health Insurance as it states that:

  1. Basic Health Insurance coverage is required for the issuance of entry permits, residence permits and expatriates employment.
  2. Basic Health Insurance coverage is required for the Renewal of both entry and residence permits.
  3. The coverage’s duration shall extend to cover the stay/ residence duration.

Article (11) of The Law provides that both Sponsors and Employers must cover Visitors / non-Qatari employees and their families in the mandatory health insurance through contracts with registered insurance companies. Article (13) of The Law obliges Employers to pay the insurance fees of the employees and their families, provide them with the Health Insurance card and demonstrate that their workers are covered by the mandatory health insurance. Same applies on sponsors. However, Visitors shall either pay their health insurance fees or prove that they have an international health insurance that is valid in Qatar.

Fines and penalties: