Cameroon Medical Insurance
Cameroon is located on the West coast of Central Africa. The country has an area of 475,400 square kilometers. Its land boundaries extend between Nigeria to the Northwest, Chad to the Northeast, the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) to the East, and the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea to the South. English and French are the country’s official languages, with French being the predominate language. The climate of the coastal region is different from that of the mountains. The average temperature of the coastal plain ranges from 22 to 29°C. The Southern part of the country has two dry seasons, from November to March and June to August. The climate of the Northern part is comparatively comfortable. The temperature varies from 23 to 26°C. The dry season of this region is from October to March. Cameroon is an interesting place to visit due to its diversity. It is a great destination for people who want to see the beautiful landscape that this country has to offer. Cameroon’s geography consists of a variety of rain forests, mountains, desert plains, and high plateaus.
The healthcare system of Cameroon consists of various public and private entities, institutions, and organisations that provide health services to the population. The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for the maintenance of all public health services in Cameroon. The public healthcare sector is the main health provider in Cameroon. Private sector (non-profit and for profit), traditional medicine and Chinese traditional medicine are also available within the country. The main sources of funding on healthcare are from the Government, public enterprises, foreign aid donors, private enterprises, households, religious missions and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Cameroon spends around 5.5% of GDP on healthcare to improve the infrastructure and procure new medical equipments.
The public health sector in Cameroon is in place to provide the general population with cheap healthcare services and medications. The Cameroonian healthcare system divides into three levels; Central (strategic), intermediary (technical) and peripheral (operational). The healthcare services in Cameroon are provided by hospitals and clinics. The country has 178 health districts, with 162 district hospitals, of which only 154 of these hospitals are operational. In addition, Cameroon has 2,043 public medical facilities, mainly concentrated in the urban areas of the country.
Good quality hospitals can be found in the major cities of Cameroon, particularly in Douala and Yaounde. Some nationals working in hospitals in the cities received their training locally in Cameroon as well as from overseas. Sanitation levels in the medical amenities are low, and healthcare facilities outside Yaounde and Douala, in the rural areas are almost non-existent. Doctors and hospitals often demand immediate cash payment from patients for health services rendered, and they may require family members or friends to purchase any medical supplies that the patients need.
Recently, the Government has put in place a healthcare plan for its workers where by the State pays a percentage of the healthcare cost for civil servants who fall ill. There is adequate supply of pharmacies in major towns; however, in other areas, many medicines are unavailable. The doctor-to-patient ratio in the country is about 1:12,500, which is one of the lowest ratios in the world according to the 2010 World Statistics.
Private healthcare is also available in Cameroon, however, patients are expected to pay for all medical services used in private medical facilities, and the cost of treatment can be much higher than with equivalent procedures obtained through the public sector. As such, only people who can afford private healthcare are entitled to services from this sector. Cameroon Health insurance is almost non-existent within the country, and finding adequate levels of private coverage has proven to be a concern for the local population. Generally, the patient and his family members are responsible for the cost of all medical treatments. This often leaves families with huge debts and to bear heavy financial burdens and the consequences can be very severe.
The lack of medical professionals is a major problem in Cameroon healthcare. The causes for shortages of health workers include low salaries, unsatisfactory working conditions, heavy workload, insufficient training capacities, lack of career advancement and promotion and lack of adequate drugs and equipment, these factors have forced some doctors to relocate to other countries to work.
In summary, the medical facilities in Cameroon are limited. Even in large cities, emergency care and hospitalisation for major illnesses and surgery are restricted by the lack of trained medical specialists, outdated diagnostic equipment, and poor sanitation. The quality of healthcare in Cameroon is much lower than the standards in most western nations. Moreover, corruption in Cameroon’s public hospitals is severe. If you are looking for peace-of-mind knowing that medical costs will be covered in case of an accident or illness for yourself and your family while travelling to Cameroon, purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance or an expat medical insurance plan will be the optimal solution for you. This will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation in the event of a serious illness or accident.
Pacific Prime is a one-stop insurance brokerage service provider for you when travelling to Cameroon. We offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs, including benefits such as dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many others. We offer a large variety of health care plans as well as travellers insurance plans. Contact our professional advisers today to enjoy full insurance protection such as a Health Insurance Plan for yourself and your family.