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Qatar New Healthcare Insurance Law

A new Qatari law providing free healthcare services for Qatari citizens at public medical facilities, and mandating private health insurance for residents, visitors, and tourists came into partial effect in May 2022. The law will boost the domestic healthcare industry, make the insurance market more competitive, and open it up to foreign investment. Before the law’s enactment, the multi-billion-dollar local insurance sector was comprised of only six companies. Now, the industry is expected to grow exponentially as foreign insurance firms come into Qatar seeking local business opportunities. The law is not yet in full effect.


Before the law’s partial enactment in May 2022, most foreign nationals seeking work and residence in Qatar could enroll in a government health insurance scheme, a private health insurance scheme, or choose both options. Now, private health insurance is mandatory for non-Qatari workers in the public and private sectors and employers and sponsors must provide basic health services.  

The new scheme will set the stage for a more competitive market and create a new insurance industry with 2.4 million potential customers. The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) expressed interest in having global insurance companies work with local companies to grow the industry. There is opportunity for U.S. health insurance firms to take advantage of this new industry in Qatar.

For decades, Qatar provided free health services to everyone in the country, costing the government $5 billion annually. This mandate is expected to reduce government healthcare spending, disbursed through subsidies on patient care, and allow re-allocation of government funds. The introduction of compulsory expatriate and visitor health insurance could positively impact the sector’s growth through more competition, and increased insurance offerings and services. The new system was promulgated under Law No. 22 of 2021, which regulates health services in Qatar. It was published in Qatar’s official Gazette on November 4, 2021, and repeals all former laws governing health services. 

The announcement of the Law introduces several significant changes to the current health insurance system: 

•    All non-Qatari nationals and visitors in Qatar must have private health insurance for the duration of their stay to receive basic medical services.
•    Qatari nationals/citizens will continue to receive free-of-charge healthcare services at government health facilities.
•    Employers must enroll their non-Qatari employees and their family members onto the mandatory health insurance scheme through contracts with insurance companies registered with MOPH.
•    Employers and expatriate sponsors must provide basic health insurance coverage to their employees.
•    Employers will need to prove their employees are covered by the mandatory health insurance scheme when issuing or renewing their residence permits. 
•    Basic health insurance will be a prerequisite for obtaining any form of permit or visa.  Foreign nationals without health insurance will not be able to obtain a new visa or renew an existing visa.

 U.S. companies interested in further information about this law, or other opportunities to export goods and services to Qatar can contact