Qatar is the first Arab country to receive the right to host the World Cup. In my previous article, I wrote in detail about the state of the stadiums and the country’s preparation for the main event in the world of football.
In short, it was not without scandals: first, accusations of bribery of the right to conduct, then a wave of anger over the violation of rights and the death of builders. In addition, foreign media have repeatedly reported on cases of exploitation of workers – and Qatar has recently raised the minimum wage and cancelled several labour restrictions.
About medical services
All expats receive medical services through insurance, which is arranged in advance by the employer. Depending on the insurance company, all or most of the invoice at the clinics with a contract is covered. For example, my first insurance covered the entire cost, including Medicine. The second is 80-90%. Therefore, if the visit cost is 200 to 500 rials, I pay 20-100 rials ($6-USD 30).
Preventive tests are not covered by insurance, so if you want to check your vitamin levels in your blood, you have to invent symptoms and ask a doctor for a referral. Without insurance, a single vitamin test would cost over $ 100.
As in the West, any antibiotics, hormonal substances, sleeping pills and strong painkillers – only with a doctor’s prescription. But some medicines are simply not available in Qatar: just those that have always helped me at home. They are produced in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, but they are no longer brought in due to the blockade. Therefore, I always carry medicines with me for every firefighter. Take note.
Briefly about the quality of medicine: be treated in advance.
For three years, I have rarely visited doctors with varying success, but many friends constantly complain about the quality of services and discuss whose doctor has helped worse. Among expats, the level of trust in local doctors is relatively low. It is better to check all appointments online through doctors at home. A colleague’s doctor did not see a purulent sore throat. I was prescribed antibiotics in a double dose for a doubly long period, even before receiving tests.
There is a notorious dermatologist who prescribes Roaccutane for absolutely everyone and everything. It is a Medicine with several strong side effects for the treatment of severe acne. To prescribe it, you need to do a blood test and then regularly check the condition of the liver. I came to that doctor with one single pimple that I did not dare to remove myself, and even this lonely bubble, in his opinion, deserved a six-month course on such powerful pills. But, of course, I didn’t accept it.
The reason for this abuse is the widespread acquisition of hospitals on insurance in Qatar. Doctors in different clinics constantly write out the excess to raise the bill to the insurance company. When you come in with a cough, you will be given three bottles of syrup and two large packs of paracetamol. When my eye got inflamed, the doctor gave a prescription for 12 boxes of prophylactic drops. Prescribing Roaccutane is also beneficial – patients must return once a month for a control blood test and a new prescription for Medicine.
I only used taxis and the metro – I don’t have a driver’s license; otherwise, I would have used Car Rental In Doha, Qatar, because some of them require a drivers license. And the subway in Doha is new and always half empty – it was built with the expectation of the arrival of World Cup fans. And of course, there is no way without traditional Arab luxury: there is a category of Gold carriages with more comfortable wide seats.
During the pandemic, Qatar recorded the world’s highest per capita coronavirus infection rate, while the death rate remained one of the lowest. For all the time, about 214 thousand were infected, and 532 people died. As in the rest of the world, almost all public places were closed here, a mask mode was introduced, and the entrance to shops was allowed only by a code in a particular application. Nowadays, it is difficult to obtain permission to enter the country, even for residents.