Djibouti Medical Insurance
Djibouti is a former French colony; the country gained its independence in 1977. It is a country that maybe small in size but it is big in ambitions. To many people, Djibouti may only be known as a transit point on the road to Eritrea or Ethiopia. The city however, is full of delicious cuisine and exciting nightlife. If you are after a little adventure, there are plenty of activities to choose from, like hiking, diving, snorkelling with whale sharks and windsurfing. If you need to recharge the batteries, you could simply enjoy your time relaxing on a pale-sand beach.
The healthcare system in Djibouti consists of three categories of healthcare providers namely public, parapublic, and private sectors. In general, the public sector is the main healthcare service provider in the country. The Government provides medical care to its population regardless of their social status, often free of charge or for a minimum fee. Public healthcare is more easily accessible in urban areas, however, there is a lack of access to healthcare in rural areas due to largely poor infrastructure outside of the capital and major towns.
The State healthcare in Djibouti operates through a number of ministries. However, the Ministry of Health in Djibouti plays an important role in taking major responsibilities for the healthcare of the country’s population. It defines, according to the law, the public healthcare policy, which is approved by the Government. Djibouti's public healthcare service is provided through hospitals, as well as rural and urban dispensaries. The Government finances healthcare through the national budget and also with foreign assistance. The total expenditure on health for Djibouti is around 7% of the country’s GDP.
The parapublic sector is comprised of facilities linked to the Office of Social Protection (OPS). OPS offers health services to its affiliates through local medical dispensaries (SMI) which provide only outpatient medical services. People insured through OPS schemes include the employees in the Government sector and private sector and their families. Enrolled employees contribute about 7.2% of their salary through their employers towards the fund. OPS does not cover any hospitalisation costs other than accidents occurred during the course of employment.
The private healthcare sector in Djibouti is relatively underdeveloped. The private sector provides inpatient, outpatient, and dental care services, primarily in the capital city. There is no private insurance in the country. Therefore patients seeking private care are required to make out of pocket payments for all medical treatments and services rendered. As such, only a small group of people in the country can afford to utilise the services offered by the private healthcare sector.
Under the pubic healthcare in Djibouti, medications are theoretically provided free of charge to patients, unfortunately, in reality, drugs are hardly available. The expenditure for drugs is the largest element of private expenditure within the healthcare sector. As a result, patients often need to go to private pharmacies to purchase their prescriptions.
Djibouti is one of the poorest countries in the world; it ranks 67 on the list. More than 74.4% of the population lives below the poverty line, with a high unemployment rate of around 50%; this throws up serious obstacles to healthcare development. Under the WHO ranking of the world’s healthcare systems, Djibouti ranked at 157 out of 190 countries, which is relatively low. Moreover, there is a lack of medical professionals in Djibouti, e.g. physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and administrators, etc. The doctor to patient ratio is about 18 to 100,000 people.
The standard of healthcare in Djibouti is not quite on par with the standard that some foreigners are used to at their home country. In general, the healthcare system in Djibouti is weak, there is a lack of equipment and insufficient maintenance, and there is a serious shortage of qualified and motivated medical personnel at all levels of the healthcare system. For visitors and expatriates who are looking for peace-of-mind knowing that medical costs will be covered in the event of an accident or illness for yourself and your family while travelling to Djibouti, 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, but you may need to check that it includes cover for medical evacuation in the event of a serious illness or accident.