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Saint Kitts and Nevis Health Insurance

Medical insurance for those living or working in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Customized Saint Kitts and Nevis health insurance plans and quotes available.

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis Medical Insurance

    Saint Kitts, or as it is officially known, Saint Christopher Island, and the island of Nevis are located in the West Indies. The two islands constitute one country namely the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis’ west coasts are bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the east coasts are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are among the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. Saint Kitts is located at a distance of 2,100 kilometres southeast of Miami, Florida, while Nevis is located about 250 kilometres east-southeast of Puerto Rico, and 80 kilometres west of Antigua.

    The population of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is estimated at 50,314 people, most of whom are African descendants. The capital, and largest port in the country, is Basseterre, located on Saint Kitts. Basseterre is the port in which cruise ships dock. The official language of is English. Saint Kitts has an estimated landmass of 168 square kilometres while Nevis, the smaller island, is estimated at 93 square kilometres. The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar which is maintained at a fixed exchange rate of 2.67-to-one with the United States dollar; the US dollar is also a widely excepted form of currency within the country. The mainstay of the Federation’s economy is tourism, replacing the sugar monoculture that had operated in the country for hundreds of years. There was a 40 percent increase in the number of tourists visiting the country between the years of 2007 and 2009. The government has put in place a program to stimulate other area sectors of the economy such as off-shore banking, and export-oriented manufacturing.

    The estimated GDP for Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2010 was US$719.5 million, giving an average income of $14,400 per capita. Saint Kitts and Nevis’ public debt is among the highest in the world, as of 2009 it was 185 percent of GDP. In 2006 the total expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP was 5.8, accounting for healthcare spending in the range of US$654 per capita.

    The Ministry of Health is responsible for the organisation and management of health services and the generation of medical policies. The Ministry is divided into two departments, medical/clinical and administrative. There are two separate Ministries of Health, with similar organisational structures, operating on each island. The Ministry of Health in Saint Kitts collaborates with the Ministry of Health in Nevis in terms of policy development, regulatory frame works, and healthcare financing.

    The Ministry of Health in St. Kitts has three departments, namely; The Office of Policy Development and Information Management, Community Based Health Services, and the Institution Based Health Services. The Office of Policy Development and Information Management is responsible for general administration and systems development, health information, planning and productivity enhancement. The office of Community Based Health Services is responsible for patient and clinical services, administrative and auxiliary services.

    The Ministry of Health implements its services through two main programmes, Institution Based Health services, and Community Based Health Services. The Environmental Health Department monitors and reports on sanitary standards. Prior to 2006, public pharmacies dispensed medications at no cost to the patients; however, due to increases in the costs of medical care in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, a nominal fee was introduced.

    There is no national health insurance in Saint Kitts and Nevis. However, in the case of citizens of the country, children under the age of 18 years, and persons over the age of 62 years are exempt from all medical charges. There is government lead initiative to provide incentives for the purchase of private Saint Kitts and Nevis medical insurance; however these reforms have not been passed into law. Employed persons in the country, including resident expatriates, are required to contribute to the national Social Security Fund which only covers sickness and retirement benefits.

    Primary health care services in the country can be accessed at eleven health centres in Saint Kitts and six in Nevis. Services offered, free of charge at the point of delivery for local citizens, include maternal and child health, chronic disease management, and general medical care services.

    There are two main referral hospitals, Joseph N. France General Hospital on the island of Saint Kitts, and Alexandra Hospital on Nevis. There are also two district hospitals in St. Kitts; Mary Charles, and Pogson, offering basic inpatient services. Services are best described as limited in comparison to wealthier western countries. There are currently no private hospitals in operation on either island.

    Estimates for the 2011 birth rates are set at 14.07 births per 1,000 head of population, with the average life expectancy at birth being 72.25 year old for males, and 77.01 years old for females. The infant mortality rate is set at 9.66 percent per 1,000 live births. The total fertility rate is 1.79 children born per woman.

    There is no hyperbaric chamber service on either island, to gain access to a hyperbaric chamber divers suffering from decompression illness have to be transported to Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles. To avoid any unnecessary expense ensure you purchase comprehensive international medical insurance policy that covers the cost of transportation and evacuation. You should also be aware that doctors and hospitals will expect immediate cash payment in exchange for services rendered.

    Certification of inoculation of yellow fever is a requirement for enter to the country for all travellers over the age of one year old; however, there is no risk of contracting the disease. Routine vaccinations for Hepatises A and B, Tetanus etc should be up-to-date. There is a threat of contracting rabies while in Saint Kitts and Nevis; if you are bitten by an animal, especially a bite from a dog, you should seek immediate medical attention so PEP treatment can be administered.

    There is a risk of contracting Malaria during your stay in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito, and has been known to occur in the country. This breed of mosquito feeds predominately during daylight hours, and are in higher concentrations in urban areas. There are no mediations or vaccinations available to prevent infection of dengue fever. Commonsense methods of prevention such as wearing insect repellent, long-sleeves and using bed nets are recommended. For comprehensive information on health risk and preventative care you should consult a medical care professional before your trip, preferably one specialised in travel medical care.

    Since 2008 there has been an increase in the level of crime within Saint Kitts and Nevis. Petty crime and burglaries frequently occur. Travellers and expatriates are strongly discouraged from walking alone at night, especially on beaches and isolated areas. There have been recent incidents of violent attacks in Half Moon Court area, including a double murder.

    If you wish to rent a car or drive in Saint Kitts and Nevis you must first purchase a local driving license, the cost of which is in the region of EC$100. In order to obtain this license you must be in possession of a current driving license from your home country. The main road system is well maintained, but hazards such as poorly marked speed bumps, badly lit streets, winding roads, and stray livestock cause problems on some routes. Touring the island by hiring a scooter is a popular choice by visitors, it is recommended that you pay additional fees for safety equipment.

    A departure tax of EC$58 per adult and EC$25 for children under 12 will be demanded on your exit from the country.

    Prime Pacific can provide professional assistance for you or your groups’ health care needs if you decide to travel in Saint Kitts and Nevis regardless of the stage of life you may be at. Our tailor made polices cover a wide range of services from repartitions, transportation, dental and many more. Call our team of world wide representatives today to discuss, free of charge, the health insurance options available to you.

 
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