Private Healthcare Facilities in Qatar permitted to carry out COVID-19 swab tests

Jun 21, 2020

Ministry of Public Health has decided to allow private healthcare facilities in the country to carry out swabbing for COVID-19 test. 

In a memo dated June 20, the ministry informed the private clinics of this and asked them to send the swabs to Hamad Medical Corporation laboratories for testing. 

The health care facility is allowed to add no more than QR50 to the actual tests cost of HMC adding that this applies only for COVID-19 PCR testing and other rapid testing are not permitted.   

Private facilities are allowed to do a swab tests in case of these following categories: 

- Patients with COVID-19 signs and respiratory symptoms
- Patients for admissions, including acute admissions and admissions for elective surgeries
- Healthcare workers
- Periodic testing of employees of other sectors 
- For pre-travel certificate confirming negative COVID-19  

The ministry also issued instructions regarding dealing with suspected cases that included immediate isolation of suspected cases of COVID-19 in separate purposed rooms; allocate a room for swabbing of suspected cases and then another room for swabbing of other categories of patients. It also added that the clinics will have to follow infection prevention and control measures during swabbing and other guidelines with regards to management of suspected cases. 

The private clinics have to obtain an approval from the ministry for the same submitting an application that includes the details of number of expected swabs and validation of swabs used for collection. It also needs to communicate with MOPH to train the required healthcare workers once approval is received. After passing the training, clinics have to obtain final approval and approval of price list from the healthcare facilities licensing and accrediting.