Qatar Health Care and Vaccinations
The National Health Authority in Qatar provides free, or heavily subsidised care for nationals, expats or visitors. Visitors and expats usually have to pay some costs, so travel insurance is still advisable. There are nine hospitals in Qatar, five government-operated and four privately-run. The Hamad General Hospital (tel: 439 4444; www.hmc.org.qa) is the main hospital in Doha, while the Al Amal is a groundbreaking cancer hospital. There are numerous pharmacies in Doha, many with late opening hours. In case of emergency call the police, fire or ambulance on 999.
Food and drink
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice from hotels and public facilities in Doha is generally safe to drink. In other areas, bottled water is a sensible precaution. In general, food hygiene standards are good and it’s fine to eat from markets and street food stalls. Use common sense and only eat well-cooked meat and fish; in the summer months, inadequate storage in the heat can cause problems.
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. In the summer, temperatures can easily hit 35°C (95°F) and it is easy to get sunstroke or become dehydrated. Simple measures such as covering the head, keeping out of the midday sun and regularly sipping water help avoid this. Respiratory problems can also be an issue due to the dust and sand in the air, particularly in the summer months.