The ever developing nation of Qatar is the region’s biggest spender on healthcare, and have adopted some of the world’s highest healthcare standards in the world. Being a newly developed country, Qatar spent $4.7 billion on healthcare in 2014, all on a native population of just over quarter of a million and an expatriate workforce of around 2 million.
Today all Qatari citizens have full medical and healthcare coverage by a national health insurance plan. The government had plans to grant all permanent residents of Qatar free medical care, but the government recently announced that they are working on new plans which might take more time. However, expats healthcare is usually covered by employers, or self-funded.
Before the discovery of oil, Qatar relied mostly on traditional medicine, with barbers performing minor procedures, like circumcision. People widely relied on herbalists for remedies, with most herbal science usually passed down through generations orally. Another popular practice was cauterization, where a wound or open blood vessel was burned using glowing red metal.
In 1943, emir Abdullah bin Jassim establish Qatar’s first hospital in order to provide treatment for his son, Hamad bin Abdullah. Before the first hospital was constructed, Qataris had to travel to get medical attention. People in need of care usually went to the American Mission hospitals in Kuwait, Oman, or Bahrain, or to Iran.
However, today Qatar has an ever growing healthcare infrastructure, and is providing all its citizens with some of the best medical services in region and the world.