Mauritius Medical Insurance
The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation located in the southwest Indian Ocean, roughly 900km off the coast of Madagascar. Their history as an important trade holding for various European colonies came to an end on March 12, 1968 when Mauritius became an independent nation within the UK Commonwealth. Since independence, Mauritius has quickly developed from a low-income agrarian economy into a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourism sectors. The island has maintained one of the developing world's most successful democracies, enjoying years of constitutional order and racial harmony amongst its mixed population of Asian, European and African citizens. Visitors to Mauritius will enjoy a tropical climate, beautiful beaches and a variety of cultural activities to pursue during their stay.
The Constitution of Mauritius commits to a robust welfare state with the right to health care as one of its key principles. Accordingly, medical services at all public service points, ranging from primary healthcare to tertiary care, are free to all 1.2 million Mauritian citizens. The state health care system is financed through general taxation. This current funding mechanism has been criticized as lacking the capacity to further improve the quality in primary health care and develop more high technology facilities. Some of the present medical facilities are old, poorly maintained and with equipment in need of replacement or renewal. Private enterprise in the health care sector has been encouraged and has become an established presence in the market.
The health system in Mauritius is largely decentralized. Each of the five regions has their own Health Advisory Board to advise on the specific medical needs of the region, the effectiveness and efficiency of services and consumer matters. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life administers overall national health policy, coordination and management, resource allocation and regulation, together with parliamentary and international matters. The Ministry is now negotiating with the private sector to further collaborate on the distribution of medical services to create a more involved public-private partnership for health care in Mauritius.
Mauritius has done well in recent years to eradicate communicable diseases common to other tropical developing nations, namely malaria, yellow fever and cholera. Mortality rates show the health of the Mauritian citizen is now more closely related to the developed world than to the African subcontinent.
The public health care system employs over 650 doctors, 2,700 nurses, 50 dentists and 20 pharmacists. Most Mauritian doctors are trained abroad. At primary care level, the state health services comprise a network of 138 facilities (Area Health Centers, Community Health Centers, medical and dental clinics) which provide remedial, nursing, dispensary and support services at the local level. 100% of the population has reasonable access to the first point of contact with this health care system (Area and Community Health Centers) within a 5km radius. Secondary care is administered through 5 regional hospitals and three district hospitals that provide primary inpatient and outpatient medical care as well as emergency services. The tertiary level is the highest referral level, comprising four separate specialist hospitals including an Eye hospital, an Ear, Nose and Throat hospital, a Cardiac Centre and a Chest hospital. In the state health facilities, at primary care level, there are about 2.8 million attendances a year; at hospital level, there are nearly 2.5 million outpatient attendances per year and nearly 200,000 inpatient admissions, with a 75% average occupancy of available beds.
Private health care is becoming more prominent in Mauritius. There are 17 private clinics in the country, providing primary and specialist services, high-tech diagnostic services, renal dialysis and most recently cardiac surgery. These private sector facilities have over 600 beds. There are 413 registered private doctors, some working with the private clinics and others working from their private premises. There are 20 private medical laboratories which cover different pathological tests and other services. As private household out-of-pocket payments for medical services have risen, private health insurance options have become more popular among Mauritian employers and citizens.
An expatriate in Mauritius should keep up to date with regional weather. Cyclone season runs from November to May. Cyclones have been known to cause extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure, which can hamper the provision of essential medical services and can be fatal. The mosquito-borne illnesses chikungunya fever periodically occurs in Mauritius.
It is strongly recommend that foreign visitors take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you travel to Mauritius. The standard of public medical facilities in Mauritius is variable. Most visitors choose to seek treatment with private doctors or at private clinics. Normally, up-front payment will be required for such medical services. While most hospitals and clinics are able to treat patients in the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation by commercial airline (usually to South Africa and at considerable expense) may be necessary for complex cases. Service Aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a government organization that provides ambulance and emergency assistance in response to calls to 114.
We offer a wide variety of health care plans and travel insurance policies with possible benefit packages including dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many more. Please contact our professional advisors today for a free quote and enjoy the security that our extensive health insurance plans can provide.