Health insurance in Jamaica
Thinking about traveling to or are currently living in Jamaica? If so, getting your hands on the right health insurance plan can help cover any medical costs while you’re there. Pacific Prime can help you find the best plan for your needs and budget. Click below to get a free quote or continue reading to learn more about health insurance in Jamaica.
Overview of healthcare in Jamaica
Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, vibrant culture, and friendly locals. When it comes to healthcare, the country lacks sophisticated medical care and hospital infrastructure. The capital city of Kingston and Montego Bay are the only places where you can get comprehensive medical care. The island has several hospitals and clinics, though the quality is not quite up to Western standards.
While expats can access healthcare services at private medical facilities in Kingston, Montego Bay, and other tourist areas, prolonged sickness and emergency health conditions may call for emergency evacuation outside the country - making international health insurance essential.
Public healthcare in Jamaica
Jamaica has around 30 clinics and hospitals, most of which are part of the public sector. Citizens and residents can access services in these hospitals at no cost. Most public hospitals have more patients than they can handle, which means long wait times are common. Insufficient government funding and shortage of skilled staff are some reasons why locals and expats alike prefer to seek private treatment.
Private healthcare in Jamaica
Private healthcare facilities in Jamaica offer quality healthcare in a more favorable setting. However, treatment in these places is also more expensive. Expats living in Jamaica who can afford private treatment typically go with this option. However, most locals cannot afford this type of healthcare due to the costs.
Jamaica health-related travel advice
Prescriptions in Jamaica are dispensed electronically through the National Health Fund’s Pharmacy Information Management System, which can be found in its Drug Service pharmacies. The system can be found at some public hospitals in Jamaica as well.
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya are present in Jamaica. It’s important to protect yourself against mosquitos when in the area by using mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves at certain times of the day or in certain areas.
Clinics usually ask for payment upfront or require credit card information in order to guarantee payment before providing medical care.
If you take any medications or prescriptions, it’s advisable to bring them with you during your stay. You should also have a doctor’s letter with you just in case.
There is a hyperbaric chamber at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab close to Ocho Ros.
Make sure your routine vaccinations are up to date before traveling to Jamaica. Note that Hepatitis A and typhoid outbreaks happen from time to time so those vaccinations are highly recommended.
How to find the best private health insurance in Jamaica
The healthcare system in Jamaica may be of a different quality than what you are used to in your home country, both in the public and private healthcare sector. It’s almost important to note that several chronic medical problems cannot be treated on the island, which means evacuation may be necessary. If so, you should make sure your international healthcare plan covers treatment in the US to avoid hefty out-of-pocket costs if you are flown there.