Not enough PHCs in Qatar to meet growing population
- Cassey Oliveira
- On May 22, 2013
Residents are forced to opt for private clinics as PHCs in the country do not have the capacity to accept any new patient registrations.
According to Qatar Statistical Authority, between December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2012, more than 140,000 expatriates arrived in Qatar, leading to a 7.5% rise in the population compared to the previous year.
For a country whose population is now nearing two million, the 21 primary health care centres (PHCs) don’t suffice. The PHCs, divided as Central, Western, and Northern region centres are witnessing a heavy rush of patients, and hence hesitant to accept any new registrations.
Habiba Radcliffe who moved to Qatar with her husband last spring says they faced this problem at the PHC in Bin Mahmoud, where they were residing at that time. The centre was no longer accepting new patients and the couple were asked to register at another centre which turned them down as well.
“A few days later we tried again. The same result. When we asked which PHC we should join, we were advised to try one by the airport, a reasonable distance from where we lived. As a result, we lost heart and have since been going to Al-Ahli Hospital whenever we needed anything,” says Habiba.
Last year too, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) announced that Omar bin Khattab centre and West Bay health centres would cater exclusively to nationals to reduce overcrowding. Expatriates were asked to deregister and apply at other centres. Read full report here.
Another complaint that a PHC visitor, John D., had was that PHCs don’t accept patient from other centres even during emergencies. “I once rushed to a health centre because I was in severe pain. But I was told to go to the centre I was registered with. They could have at least shown me to the doctor to get a prescription.”
Speaking to JustHere, PHCC officials said they were fully aware of this situation and were coming up with measures to better manage the growing number of patients. PHCC will soon release data informing new patients about which centres are full, and which will be accepting new registrations. The staff too will be trained to direct patients accurately.
“PHCC recognises the need to develop and expand the services and systems currently in place to deliver a new standard of care according to the primary health care strategy and meet the needs of Qatar’s growing population. We are undertaking an intensive programme of service developments and changes, based on meeting the particular needs and requirements of the local community, which will be taking place across health centres in phases. Improvements are being developed in consultation with the community and staff and will be tested and the feedback of staff and people using the services will be used to measure success and effectiveness,” said officials.
These are some of the steps that PHCC is taking in the next couple of months:
- Introduction of electronic systems for the management of appointments and medical records, which will reduce delays at reception and ensure comprehensive medical details are maintained for all individuals.
- Adoption of new systems to reduce the number of queuing system ticket numbers.
- Renovation of existing health centres and the building of new ones in response to the growing population and specific needs and requirements of the community.
- People will be registered at a specific health centre, but will be able in an emergency to attend any nearest health centre for treatment.
- Extended health centre opening hours.
Health insurance: Hopes and fear
Over the last few years Qatar has been in the process of structuring a social health insurance plan for all its residents. The new plan shifts the liability of health care insurance from the Government to the employers.
Earlier this month, The Peninsula had reported on the concerns of the private sector on the implementation of the proposed insurance. Read full report here.
Some companies, resisting the change, have even hinted that this move could affect salaries and sponsorship policies of their employees.
At one of the first plenary sessions, four years ago, healthcare experts stressed that this was the only way forward as it was not feasible or practical for the State to continue bearing the cost of healthcare of all its residents.
PHCs in Qatar offer treatments and medications at a highly-subsidised rates, sometimes for as little as 5% of what private clinics charge.
With the proposed health insurance law, patients need not be worried about how much their medical expense comes to even if they visit private clinics.
- Kafala will be abolished… ultimately; But Qatar’s big announcement on labour laws is still pending cabinet approval
- Qatar Cost of Living: The JustHere Survival Matrix
- [UPDATED PHOTOS] Happy National Day Qatar!
- Damien Hirst is coming to town, and here are 10 things you should know about him
- First 7000 newborn babies in Qatar during Ramadan will receive baby car seats
- Cleansing of Doha: The Old Downtown Disappears
- Weekend Radar (July 4-6)
- ‘Whoa’ moment as Qatar’s overall population grows by 11.26%; 13.34% rise in that of females
- Weekend Radar (June 20 – 22)
- Souq Haraj awaits its inevitable fate in light of 2022
- Weekend Radar (June 6-8)
- Tickets for the June 13 Disney On Ice show up for grabs
- State mandates employers to medically insure employees under new law
- Runaways and Absconders; Slavery and Kafala: A dig into history
- Weekend Radar (May 30 – June 1)
- Atop the Everest: A mental feat more than a physical one
- Where do We Learn Arabic?
- All in a Day’s Work
- Weekend Radar (May 23-25)
- Not enough PHCs in Qatar to meet growing population
- Tipping point… who deserves gratuity?
- Blood donation in Qatar continues to be a challenge
- The coronavirus scare in GCC: What you need to know
- Ooredoo and Messi launch initiative for children’s health
- Been in Qatar long enough to remember these?
- Let’s Meet: Jeet Bahadur Mogar
- Onaiza Park: A splash of colours
- Ta2heel: By the youth for the youth… a uniquely Qatar initiative
- What you need to know about Emir Cup 2013
- Weekend Radar (May 16-18)
- QAWS receives a one month reprieve
- Hike or no hike in school fees?
- No lessons learned after Villaggio. The smoke continues well after the fire.
- Al Dhakhira gets first model commercial complex
- What every pedestrian in Qatar must know.
- Fatima Al-Nesf: Living her life in cartoons
- Inaccessible Qatar… where do we begin?
- Ready for some punchlines?
- A year more for neighbourhood stores
- UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi lead the race for regional tourism revenue growth
- Weekend Radar (May 9 – 11)
- Al Salihiya Juice Stall: Honk, and ye shall be served!
- How free is the free visa?
- Disney on Ice tickets now on sale
- In Qatar, traffic is a bigger killer than cancer
- 6˚ of Separation: The child in us
- Why QAWS’s success will be the community’s as well
- Payment woes for freelancers in Qatar
- DCMF event receives thumbs down
- Weekend Radar (May 02-04)
- DFI and Tribeca’s partnership comes to a close
- Second phase of Kulluna campaign promotes cardiac health
- Student filmmakers left in the lurch at Al Jazeera Docu Fest
- Traffic surveillance cameras to keep check on violators
- An Artistic Hypocrisy?
- More female nationals in the workforce than in other GCC states
- There’s smoke, there’s fire, and no one knows how
- Weekend Radar (April 25-27)
- QF attempts to change workers’ plight in Qatar
- Where to find a good book in Qatar
- The Greatest Gift
- It’s Earth Day today. Are you doing your bit?
- QMA launches free Mathaf Shuttle Bus service. Hop on.
- Where you from?
- Winners announced for the DCMF cartoon competition
- The mad gold rush
- The Park that’s more than just that
- Shisha Vs Cigarette: Which kills more?
- Qatar 2022 in the firing line again
- The Katara Dilemma: What do we do about misbehaviour?
- How to stay safe during an earthquake
- Weekend Radar (April 18-20)
- Qatar rocks, literally, as earthquake hits Iran-Pakistan border
- Qatar’s not a cheap place to live in
- Qatar should ensure a reliable legal framework for contractors: Merkel
- How much do your schooling expenses come to?
- Ezdan Mall partially opens in Doha
- More sports tournaments for migrant workers
- Qatar’s fuming: Cigs, shisha & the havoc that it wrecks
- Yet another case of intellectual property rights violation in Qatar
- 10 Quick Escapes for the Parent
- Qatarisation is imperative, but nationals shy away
- Enjoy the best deals in Qatar
- DFI to hold 48 hour documentary challenge
- Let’s Meet: Moidunny Karupp Theruvath
- Weekend Radar (April 11-13)
- 10 ways to make learning fun
- The divisiveness of your toxicity
- Parking, parking everywhere, who wants to use it?
- A Qatar Obsession: Adventurous & Deadly… Here’s to a safer ATV ride
- Qatar Biobank reaches 200th participant
- You won’t get lost finding this one!
- Sailing through luxury
- Count the paper you use
- Weekend Radar (April 4-6)
- Magical mystery tour of Qatar
- Jobs, and more jobs
- Rachel Gadsden: A vision beyond sight
- Don’t be shocked
- Indecent behaviour outside EC. Stay alert!
- Here’s a reader’s verdict on Qatari newspapers
- Weekend Radar (March 28-30)
- Why does journalism in Qatar look more like PR?
- Tuitions step in where schools fail
- Uniquely Qatar… See Queue, Will Jump
- 60 minutes of darkness
- Who’s up for the Workers Cup?
- Let our Children Be
- Qatar is the region’s second best travel and tourism hub, after UAE
- 10 Best Souvenirs From Qatar
- Are we saying goodbye to our local grocery stores?
- Exhibition Review: Hey’ya – Arab Women in Sport
- Hunger Games in Doha
- Privilege Vs Creativity
- Working from home… and home is a Doha café with free wi-fi
- School admissions in Qatar: Tough Lessons To Learn
- Exotic. Illegal. Blatant.
- What She Wears: The Dress Code Debate
- Aesthetics Trumps Conservation?
- Dubai Parks and Resorts to open region’s largest entertainment destination, including first-ever Bollywood theme park, this October