Eritrea Medical Insurance
Eritrea has much to offer as a tourist destination, from history to art to outdoors activities, there are plenty of things to do. Although the country is quite small, it is very diverse. Eritrea is a country full of historical, archaeological, and natural sites of interest. It has fabulous landscapes, ranging from seas, to deserts, and spectacular highlands. Eritrea was formerly under Italian control, and was taken over by Great Britain during World War II. Therefore, the country has an Italian flavour in larger towns, and it is also reflected in the local cuisine.
Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world, where about a third of the population lives below the poverty line. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in comparison to the rest of the world’s healthcare systems, Eritrea ranked 158 out of 180 countries. After a 30-year struggle with Ethiopia, Eritrea finally gained its independence and international recognition as a state in 1993. However, the long drive towards independence has negatively affected the healthcare system of the country. Upon gaining independence, the Government inherited an already inadequate healthcare system with a shortage of medical facilities and trained medical personnel. Drugs and medical supplies were not properly distributed.
The healthcare system in Eritrea consists of both public and private sectors. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for providing healthcare services in Eritrea. Since the country gained independence in 1993, the Government has undertaken initiatives to improve the medical facilities, such as making significant investments to build new facilities with better equipments and proper supplies. Efforts were put into developing human resources for the healthcare sector to narrow the gap in shortage of medical staffs. The total expenditure on health care in Eritrea is currently around 4.5% of the country’s GDP.
Despite the fact that the Government has tried to improve the healthcare system in Eritrea, the overall standard is generally poor. In Eritrea, about 90% of the country’s population is entitled to access free medical treatment at public hospitals and clinics. The doctor to patient ratio in Eritrea is low, about 1:10,000 people and most healthcare providers are mainly located in urban areas. About 80% of the country’s populations are living in the rural areas, which mean that many people will need to travel to urban areas in order to have access to healthcare facilities; this makes it difficult for people living in the rural sections of Eritrea. The lack of access to medical care in the rural areas may result in delayed treatments or leading to needless deaths in patients. Private doctors and clinics are also available in the country and there is even a private hospital in the capital city, however, the private healthcare sector is relatively small as the charges for service are very expensive and only limited group of people in the country can access private medical services due to the majority of the population living below the poverty line.
Healthcare facilities in Eritrea include healthcare centres and hospitals. Medical centres provide preliminary medical aid and minor surgical assistance, as well as carrying out diagnostic functions. Except in the case of an emergency, patients are required to make an appointment with the doctor in order to admit into a hospital. Some of the services that patients can find in the hospitals include gynecology, pediatrics and eye care.
In general, the infrastructure of the healthcare system in Eritrea is far from meeting the standard of western countries. The modern medical facilities are not always available and they are mostly limited to the urban areas in the country. Chemists and drugstores are available in major towns; however, qualifications of chemists are often unknown. Basic non-prescription medicines can be found in major cities, though the selection is not large, and the supply of medicines is often irregular.
Given that the healthcare system in Eritrea is weak, there is a lack of equipment and insufficient maintenance, and there is a serious shortage of qualified 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 Eritrea, purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy or an expat medical insurance plan will be the best 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.
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 healthcare 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.