Qatar announces mandatory private health insurance requirement

qatarThe Gulf State of Qatar is the latest country in the region to legally require all expatriate workers to purchase private health insurance rather than allowing them to fall back on Government facilities in the event that they need medical care.

The newly introduced law requires private companies to meet the cost of private health insurance for all expatriate employees by the end of 2015. The new regulations are to be rolled out in phases over the next 12 months with white-collar workers required to be covered by the end of the first quarter, whilst blue-collar workers have until the end of the year.

In order to control growing costs and manage the strain on public systems, Qatar is another example of an increasing number of governments making private health insurance an integral part of the process of obtaining residency and work visas

Top communicable diseases

Lower respiratory infections are now the world’s number one killer. Nearly three million people die from the disease each year, about  half of them children under the age of five.

HIV/AIDS comes in at number two, but is responsible for less than half the number of deaths caused by lower respiratory infections with around 1.3 million deaths reported last year.

The number of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases is at number three with tuberculosis close behind at number four.

Estimates suggest that one-third of the world’s population have been infected by TB but are not ill with the disease, at least not yet, with over 95 per cent of deaths reported in developing countries”.