Section: Long-term

Provision of free medical care to labour migrants.

Case study

The Qatar Red Crescent Society provides free medical services to male labour migrants in the country. Upon arrival in Qatar, each labour migrant is provided a health card from the government which allows him to use Red Crescent health facilities for free. There are three Health Centres operated by the Qatar Red Crescent Society: (1) Alhemailah Health Centre (located in an industrial area of Doha and receiving 24,000 patients/month); (2) Mesaimeer Health Centre (located in the Mesaimeer area of Doha and receiving 24,000 patients/month); (3) Zikreet Health Centre (located in the Zikreet area of Dukhan and receiving 4,000 patients/month). A fourth centre is under construction in Doha city centre and will serve as a specialised centre for chronic diseases.

Services provided at the medical centres include general medicine, cardiology, psychosocial support and minor surgery. All medication provided by the pharmacies in the health centres is priced at 10 per cent of the normal retail cost. The medical commission units receive on average 22,000 applicants per month, and conduct health screenings of migrant newcomers to Qatar. The screenings include tests for infectious diseases, and the issuance of health certificates to facilitate residence permits.

Other examples
Assessment of impact and reach

As of 2015, 508,202 patients had been provided services at the health centres.

Cost per beneficiary
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Focuses on the health needs and vulnerabilities of labour migrants.

Implementation. [P6] Works together with government and pharmaceutical companies to provide subsidized health to migrants.

  • It can be difficult to communicate with patients because of language and cultural differences (traditions/values).
  • Illiteracy of the patients makes it more difficult to provide services.
Lessons learned
  • Hiring staff with the cultural and language skills to interact with migrants is key.
  • Continuous health education during patients’ visits and health education campaigns for labour migrants are very helpful to raise health awareness and reduce the need for health care.
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