A greater number of Qatari nationals are benefitting from Seha, the National Health Insurance Scheme, as the choices for seeking treatment increase with the expanding provider network.
According to statistics released by the National Health Insurance Company (NHIC) which operates and manages Seha, as of 18 September 2014 there have been over 400,000 doctor’s and hospital visits since the launch of the scheme in July 2013. The NHIC also announced the inclusion of physiotherapy clinics within Seha’s provider network.
Acting CEO of the NHIC, Dr Faleh Mohamed Hussain Ali, said:
The rate at which the use of Seha is growing is phenomenal. To have nearly 370,000 encounters with members in less than five months since Stage 2 was launched shows the extent to which the public has come to accept and rely upon Seha…What is even more remarkable is that these hundreds of thousands of doctor’s visits have all largely gone smoothly despite the significant change Seha brings to the way people access healthcare. We have had just 165 complaints so far, which represents a very small fraction, not even half a percent, of the total encounters and doctor’s visits we’ve had so far.’
Of the 403,667 doctor’s and hospital visits under Seha, 34,990 occurred during Stage 1 while nearly 336,000 visits have taken place since the scheme was expanded to cover all Qatari nationals earlier this year in April. A further 32,679 visits to dentists have taken place since dental coverage was introduced at the end of June 2014, bringing the total number of visits under Seha Stage 2 to just under 369,000.
In addition, some 36,000 Qatari nationals have interacted with Seha since the launch of Stage 2 via the scheme’s call center, the information booths set up at major providers and the roadshow conducted during Ramadan to inform residents in areas outside of Doha about the Seha.
Forty-three dental providers of which 27 are specialised dental centres. A key benefit of the Seha scheme is offering members the choice of where to seek treatment. The inclusion of both public and private providers in the Seha network affords Qatari nationals greater flexibility, choice and quality in seeking the medical treatment that best meets their needs. The Seha network has in recent months grown to include a total of 73 providers, including seven hospitals, 31 clinics, 49 clinics and specialised medical centers that provide dental services and two optical providers with 26 a total of branches between them. Of the 73 providers, just four are public facilities with the balance made up of private sector providers. The Seha provider network is expected to number 100 by the end of this year.
Dr Faleh said:
The inclusion of private providers under Seha has greatly eased the pressure on the over-burdened public health system, while at the same time giving the public more choice and more access points to receive health care services. When waiting times at certain providers prove tedious, members have the option to select from a large number of licensed providers who could provide the services they require. Our ultimate aim is to have every medical facility in Qatar be part of Seha’s network. We are in discussions with providers across the country and I invite all those providers who have not yet done so to contact us to learn more about how to join the Seha network.’
Dr Faleh also emphasised the inclusion of physiotherapy coverage under the Seha schedule of benefits. He explained that, as with all other covered treatments, physiotherapy is coverage by Seha within the provider network. However, a referral from a physician within the provider network is required to access the treatment. The number of providers offering physiotherapy services, currently numbering three specialised clinics, is also expected to grow over the coming months.
Seha’s coverage includes both in-patient and out-patient services including preventative care, emergency treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, long-term care, radiology, ophthalmology, laboratory testing and prescription medicines as well as dental and optical services.
For more information, visit the Seha website. Members can also call the Seha call centre on telephone 4020 8444, or alternatively visit the customer care centre located on the sixth floor of Amwal Tower in West Bay, Doha.