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Posted On: 17 July 2013 12:47 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Health insurance scheme starting operations today

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The first stage of the long-awaited mandatory health insurance scheme starts operations today with the National Health Insurance Company (NHIC) providing coverage for Qatari females from age 12 for maternity, obstetrics, gynaecology and related healthcare services. Established in June this year, the National Health Insurance Company (NHIC) manages and operates the country’s compulsory health insurance programme, mandated by Emiri Decree 7 of 2013. Rolled out in stages - starting from today - the scheme provides health insurance coverage for all of the population of Qatar, by including increasingly larger groups with each successive stage. It offers members the choice through a network of providers covering both the public and private sectors. The initial provider network for Stage 1 of the scheme includes the HMC Women’s Hospital and three private hospitals: Al Emadi Hospital, Doha Clinic Hospital, and Al-Ahli Hospital. More providers are expected to be added to the network over the coming weeks and months. Other public hospitals such as Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and the Cuban Hospital will provide services covered under the scheme as usual until they become part of the provider network. “This is a historic day as the first stage of the long-awaited mandatory health insurance scheme starts operations,” said HE Abdulla al-Qahtani, Minister for Public Health and secretary general of the Supreme Council of Health. “It took time to ensure that we have a robust and effective scheme that answers the specific needs of Qatar but it will be well worth the wait as the scheme rolls out. It is a great pleasure and honour for me to see the launch of this crucial project for our nation.” “The National Health Insurance Scheme will ensure that the National Health Strategy’s goal of affordable and accessible healthcare is now a reality,” said Dr Faleh Mohamed Hussain Ali, acting CEO of the NHIC and assistant secretary general for policy affairs at the SCH. “We’ve structured operational issues to make access and use of the scheme as easy as possible.” The scheme uses the Qatar ID card for identification and verification, explained Dr Faleh. Qatari females from age 12 onwards are automatically enrolled and do not need to register separately for the scheme. All they need to do is make an appointment directly with one of the hospitals in the network and present their ID cards at the hospital’s registration or reception counter on the day of their appointment. Qatari nationals do not have to make any payments to the provider for services covered within the scheme as all their premiums will be paid by the government. Fully-owned by the government and managed by an executive team, NHIC reports to a board of directors, chaired by al-Qahtani. In addition, it comprises representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Labour, Interior, the Central Municipality Council and the private business sector. Earlier this month, the company held its inaugural general assembly and board of directors meeting, ratifying a number of policies and decisions to allow the company to become operational. The National Health Insurance scheme is being launched in five stages; beginning with Stage 1 from today to the first quarter of 2014 and completing with the fifth stage in 2015. Subsequent stages will see the incorporation of all Qatari nationals, followed by white-collar non-nationals, visitors and blue-collar expatriates. The ultimate goal of the NHS is to ensure that everyone living in Qatar, both nationals and non-nationals, have the basic minimum healthcare services available to them. Information and updates on the scheme are available on the SCH website Members can also call the scheme’s call centre on 4020 8444 to speak to a representative or visit one of the NHIC booths at the initial list of hospitals or at the Supreme Council of Health’s headquarters in Doha.