An Interview with Shady Nawar of Qatar Insurance Company
Qatar Insurance Company is one of the most well known insurance companies in the Middle East, and with a long-standing solid reputation of providing first-class service and quality, has become a well-respected name in group health insurance as well in the Gulf region.
Please tell us about yourself and your background.
I’m a Clinical Pharmacist, and I graduated 8 years ago from University of Pharmacy in Egypt.
I currently am a Health Insurance Specialist – I received a Certificate in Health Insurance, and I was the Head of the International Network in Daman Insurance, UAE. I was a Candidate for the University of Leicester, UK, for the Master of Business Administration course. Currently, I am the Assistant Vice President, Provider Management of the Medical Department at Qatar Insurance Company.
Tell us about Qatar Insurance Company. What healthcare insurance do you offer?
We have our medical designed product called “Qatar Care”, which includes three different plans:
Premier Plan – Advantage Plan – Classic Plan
All of these plans provide comprehensive coverage for both inpatient and outpatient services.
Qatar Insurance Company /QIC is the country’s oldest national insurer established in 1964. We are the second oldest insurance company in the Gulf region, and we have a unique partnership with the Government. QIC has over 60% of the market share in the country, and we have played a significant role in Qatar’s major economic, industrial, commercial and infrastructural developmental projects.
QIC is rated A by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and is an ISO (9001: 2000) compliant organization which reflects the high quality of services that we offer to our clients.
QIC’s Group Health Insurance product is designed to provide a premier level of health care within a large network of preferred healthcare providers within and out of the State of Qatar
Where do you insure people for Healthcare?
We insure our people according to the territory of coverage and as per the plan terms and conditions. We have the following healthcare plans available:
Premier Plus = Worldwide
Premier = Worldwide excluding USA & Canada
Advantage Plan = Middle East, Southeast Asia, Arab countries, and GCC, Gulf countries
Classic Plan = local coverage inside Qatar
What hospitals are in your network and how do you choose them? Do you look for international accreditation or national accreditation, or both?
We have direct billing agreements with several hospitals in many countries. Inside Qatar we have certain standards, by which we evaluate and rank the hospitals according to those standards, in addition to the local accreditation standards which are mandatory by the Super Council of Health.
Some of these standards include quality of the healthcare provider and facilities, the medical records standards, infection control policies, as well as the General site standards. However outside Qatar, we prefer the international accreditation, such as GCIA standards, as a standard for inclusion into our network.
In the case of an emergency, or if major surgery is required, where do you send patients and why?
If the required service is not available inside the country, we send our patients according to the area of coverage, such as if the patient has a premier plan and needs an orthopedic surgery, we will most likely send him to Germany. As well as many of the local insured members, we also prefer countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. Therefore the three parameters are: location, specialty availability and reputation.
How do you determine what hospitals traveling patients are sent to and whether they are evacuated out of the country?
The insured members have the right to be admitted to any hospital included in their panel, but we shall educate them about the available specialty, quality standards, service provided and the eligibility issues of the hospitals, as per the policy terms and conditions. In the case of an evacuation, it shall be through our international emergency partner whom is assisting us all over the world with emergency services.
Where do you see Expatriate and Travel Insurance going in the next few years as companies become more national? Do you foresee a positive trend and direction, and why?
With companies becoming more international, it will not contradict with medical tourism, but rather be a major asset. International or global coverage is a standard benefit in almost all the medical insurance companies which have to provide different scales of coverage to their clients. This is becoming necessary in order to meet clients’ needs.
On the other hand, the competition between healthcare providers, in terms of quality, is increasing day after day, as well as in terms of the cost contentment, which means the buyers are looking for the highest quality, yet most cost-effective medical services for their insured members. For all of the above reasons, I believe that the next few years will be very promising for the medical tourism industry.