Prenatal Care in Qatar
Find out what support and medical care are available for parents and babies before the birth...
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, women should register with their hospital of choice so appointments for scans and check-ups can be booked. Options for delivery at the hospital can be discussed with the consultant early on in the pregnancy. It's likely that a marriage certificate will be required when registering for pre-natal care as having a baby outside of marriage is forbidden.
The midwife system in Qatar is different from that in some countries; most appointments throughout the pregnancy are with a consultant doctor at the hospital or clinic, although midwives are present during the delivery.
The frequency of prenatal visits and number of ultrasound scans carried out during the pregnancy varies from hospital to hospital, and generally depends on whether the woman has chosen a government-funded or private hospital.
Government funded health care
A Health Card is required in order to use government health facilities. These can usually be obtained through the employer at the same time as sponsorship is being arranged. An individual can also apply for a Health Card themselves and a fee must be paid. Copies of the individual's passport and visa or ID and two passport-sized photographs are required. The application can be made online through the Hukoomi website (in the Healthcare and Well-being section), or at a Qatar post office.
Appointments at a government-run hospital are rarely with the same doctor and husbands may not attend appointments or the birth.
Private health care
There are fees associated with private maternity care, which some insurance policies cover. Couples planning a pregnancy in Qatar should ensure that their medical insurance covers private maternity and delivery care, if that is the option they wish to take. Most policies stipulate a qualifying period before conception for maternity cover to be valid. If a couple's insurance does not cover pregnancy care, then self-financing, using a government hospital, or travelling back to their home country can all be considered.
Women who would like information on the birthing process, breathing techniques, general health and well-being, and how to care for a newborn can enrol in prenatal classes. A number of associations run prenatal classes and exercise groups, as well as some hospitals and clinics. A useful resource for prenatal courses and pregnancy in Qatar is the Doha Mums website.