Qatar will introduce one hospital every year until 2011 in the Hamad Medical City, H E Dr Sheikha Ghalia bint Mohammed Al Thani, Minister of Health, said in an exclusive interview with The Peninsula and Al Sharq.
The Ministry of Health is all set to launch the much expected health insurance scheme and is awaiting an appropriate time to implement it. An innovative law regarding various healthcare issues will be issued soon.
Changes have been made from the earlier plan. Three tower-buildings at Medical City were proposed to accommodate a Paediatric Hospital, an Orthopaedic Hospital and a Physical Medicine and Physiotherapy Hospital.
“The Ministry will be moving into Medical City by next month as planned. The city will include a Paediatric Hospital and a Neurology Hospital. The Women’s Hospital will be shifted to the City and its present facility will be turned over as Orthopaedic Hospital. By 2011, Hamad Medical City will be a reality,” she said
The Ministry will introduce law to regulate all the aspects related to health care system in Qatar. “The law will include various issues of health insurance and related companies. It will also have a clause differentiating the roles of Ministry of Health, as a healthcare regulatory body, and Hamad Medical Corporation, as the service provider. All is set to introduce the health insurance scheme which will be compulsory to all in Qatar; we are just waiting for an appropriate time to introduce it. Every thing is ready, all we need to do is implement it,” the Minister said.
The law will focus on insurance companies, implementation and other minute details of the health insurance. The health insurance scheme will be the responsibility of the employers to provide. This scheme is called Essential Scheme. In addition to this, individuals can avail coverage for issues which are not mentioned in the Essential Scheme through insurance companies, but this will be the responsibility of the individual, not the employers.
“The government will provide insurance for its employees and the private companies will have to provide the Essential health insurance for its employees. This will be an essential point in the law,” she said.
The insurance will be first introduced as a four-year pilot project which will slowly cover all the people. Each year, 25 percent of the population will be added and based on this, needed changes will be made. Last year, a workshop of experts from different countries was conducted in Qatar to look into the most viable health insurance scheme for Qatar.
“Different countries have various health insurance schemes. Many have failed in their attempts. However, whatever we do here should be successfull and hence much research will be done into it,” she said.
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