Getting a Health Card & A Vaccine in Qatar - Expectation vs Reality
Getting a health card, receiving vaccination, and adhering to precautionary measures amidst surging Covid-19 cases
Owed to a surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, Qatar Day team took up an investigation to determine the reality in the country regarding obtaining a health card, receiving vaccinations, and evaluating if precautionary measures were being followed.
According to Primary Health Care Corporation’s (PHCC) and the Hukoomi website, to obtain a new health card, you must simply visit the nearest health center and fill out the required application forms and you will be issued a PHCC health file number. The portal also mentions the requirements for Qatar nationals and expats. The website also mentions that obtaining new health cards can be achieved via the Hukoomi portal. But the reality was far from this. Obtaining a health card online is currently not possible, which beats all logic as in most organizations, owing to the rising cases and infections, most processes are now online or supposed to be.
When we approached and asked a Health Centre employee seated at the information desk at the West Bay Health Centre, the health centre nearest to our office, we were instructed to go to either the Fereez Bin Abdul Aziz or Abu Hamour branch for getting a new health card. Upon arriving at the Abdul Aziz Health Center, we encountered another information desk employee, who informed us that we could not get a health card there but must go to the Abu Hamour Branch. We then took our third cab to head to the Abu Hamour branch, not knowing that there were two branches at Abu Hamour, one for families and the other for “workers”. As you may have guessed, we were dropped off at the one for families and were then forced to head to our final destination in this wild chase i.e. the Workers Health Center in Mesaimeer - Qatar Red Crescent near the Religious complex.
Here we encountered a scene like no other; there were so-called “workers” queuing up in what seemed like long, never-ending lines, flouting social distancing precautionary measures and not maintaining any gap between each other.
A disturbing video footage of this situation wherein the people queueing up to enter / get their vaccine has recently been shared on social media and has forced MOPH to issue a statement explaining the incident and the visuals.
During these times when the cases escalated in the region, Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines were introduced to curb this deadly virus's spread. A senior health official stated that a great majority of the population in Qatar had come forward with a positive mind to take the vaccine from the beginning. Covid-19 Vaccinations were given at the main centers like Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), All PHCC health centers, and even drive-Through centers at Al Wakra and Lusail. Upon enquiry it was reported that at health and vaccination centers, people in Qatar had to line up from as early as 5 am to avoid any delays and to receive their health cards and vaccinations.
Each day, actions are being taken against individuals for violating the essential preventive methods and are being referred for prosecution in the country.
According to the designated authorities, every individual in the country has to ensure the mandatory Covid-19 precautionary measures to curb the Covid-19 cases and combat the disruptive virus. Hence, the enforced and advised precautionary measures to follow are:
- Adhere to safe physical distancing and maintain at least one-meter distance with others
- Wearing face masks at all times
- Avoid hugging, touching eyes, nose, and mouth
- Washing or sanitizing hands at regular intervals
- Anyone who suffers from COVID-19 symptoms should contact the 16000 helpline immediately. This is really vital as the earlier the disease is detected the easier it will be to receive the right treatment and recover from it
- Please visit the MOPH website for regular updates and new information
These compulsory guidelines and instructions are to be followed by every resident and citizen of the country to fight against this ongoing pandemic and ensure a safe and healthy nation. The Qatar Day team implores the residents of Qatar to abide by these guidelines.
After overcrowding, MoPH reminds public not to walk-in at QNCC
The Ministry of Public Health has reiterated that no walk-ins will be accepted at the COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
It is an invite-only vaccination centre, the ministry stressed, adding that entry will allowed after a verification process.
"Walk Ins will not be accepted, we invite you to register your interest to take the vaccine on the MOPH site, this will be recorded and saved and you will be contacted when you are eligible,"the ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday.
"We would like to remind everyone that appointments at the QNCC are by invite only. You will only be allowed to enter the vaccine centre following a verification process.
The Ministry of Public Health stressed that the Coronavirus, Covid-19, vaccine is only given to people who have received invitations to get vaccinated and who have met the criteria set forth in the framework of the national programme for vaccination against coronavirus."
The Ministry of Public Health stressed that the Coronavirus, Covid-19, vaccine is only given to people who have received invitations to get vaccinated and who have met the criteria set forth in the framework of the national program for vaccination against Corona. pic.twitter.com/HDYfMs3Qdc— ????? ????? ?????? (@MOPHQatar) March 31, 2021