For residents of Qatar, healthcare can be fairly cheap, provided they use the government health system – the health centers and the hospitals under the aegis of Hamad Medical Corporation and for this one requires a health card.

Every area has a health center, and if you are lucky, that might actually be the one assigned to you, but in most cases, it turns out to be far away. The center is based on the area number according to your electricity bill, and with the recent changes in the country’s health policy, whereby Qataris do no get free care at the pivate hospitals, certain health centers have been reserved for the nationals.

The process to obtain the health card is fairly straightforward.

Here is my experience:

Prior to applying, I called toll free number 107, and I was so surprised to know they can answer your queries in 5 languages: Malayalam, Hindi, Philipino, English and Arabic. and I had to call multiple times, asI had different doubts, but they were wonderful, and answered all my queries patiently.

If you give them the area code mentioned on your Kahrama bill, they will let you know which your designated health center is.

Go early. I went at around 6.15am – because the Abu Nakhla health center is a quite a long way off from where I stay. Once I arrived, they were very helpful and guided me to the Customer Service Desk. The person there checked my documents and sent me to the registration desk.

DOCUMENTS: ID Copy, Passport front back and visa page copy, housing contract copy and Kahramaa bill, Passport picture in blue background

I was there when it opened and I still got #4. So after a while of waiting, I went to the counter, she looked through my papers and wrote a note on my ID copy and said that was it.

When you go back to the Customer Service Desk, they give you a paper with details on where to collect the card – including directions.

I then went to the 2nd location – the Abu Bakkar Health Center, and picked it after paying QR 100 in cash.

Took me about 3 hours from home to collect and then reach office. But apart from the time it took, there were no other headaches.

Alternately, you can also do this process  at any of the main Hamad Hospitals including Al Wakra, Al Khor, and Cuban.