Your guide to healthcare in Barbados
Dreaming of moving to a tropical island? No doubt you’re curious about the healthcare system in Barbados. Located at the easternmost part of the Caribbean islands, Barbados is a popular destination for retreats and home to stunning beaches. Their healthcare system is also ranked among the best in the Caribbeans.
Here, we provide a quick rundown on how the Barbados healthcare system works and the types of medical services you can expect to find on this island. Visit our country page for more helpful guides on the healthcare systems of countries the world over!
The Barbados healthcare system
In this tropical haven, citizens enjoy universal healthcare coverage. A wide network of hospitals spreads across the island, ensuring easy access for all islanders. Funded by taxation, Barbados' universal healthcare scheme also provides free drugs for patients suffering from major chronic diseases via The Barbados Drug Service.
While Barbados’ healthcare system ranks highly, accessing highly specialized clinical and rehab services can be challenging. There are four primary types of medical facilities in both the public and private sectors of Barbados. This section gives you a brief overview of the available institutions.
There are two main hospitals in Barbados. Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the main government-run hospital, is an accredited teaching hospital affiliated with the University of West Indies. This means the doctors here are highly competent and use cutting-edge medical technology in their operations. Patients generally come here for tertiary care, such as emergency services, and specialized surgeries. Bayview Hospital, on the other hand, is a private hospital of a similar calibre.
Polyclinics are generalist and specialist outpatient care facilities that are independent of hospitals - eight of which are government-owned. These medical centers stay true to Barbados’ high standard of healthcare and are easily accessible. Patients come here for free treatments of minor and general ailments. A large number of private clinics are also available if you’d prefer a more streamlined experience with a shorter waiting time.
As the residents and expatriates become increasingly interested in alternative medicines, specialist clinics flourish. You will never be spoilt for choice here in Barbados. Moreover, it’s easy to keep up with whichever alternative care you were into back at home. Some of the alternative healthcare clinics include, but are not limited to:
- Spiritual Retreats
- Self Improvement
Available in Barbados are also five geriatric hospitals that care for the elderly, as well as a network of childcare facilities. There is also a mental hospital for inpatient and outpatient care.
Barbados health insurance
If you are not a Bajan citizen, you aren’t covered by the island’s universal healthcare. Medical treatment and repatriation can be incredibly expensive in Barbados. Make sure you have your private international health insurance ready before your travel to the Caribbeans.
While medical standards in Barbados are generally good, medical transport can take hours to reach you and bring you to the nearest hospital, and ambulance crews are not always authorized to administer emergency treatment en route. Private medical facilities are generally quicker so it is another reason adequate insurance cover is essential.
If you’re from the UK, please note that as of 1 October 2016, the UK-Barbados reciprocal healthcare agreement has been terminated. You will have to pay out-of-pocket for all medical treatment unless you have a private health insurance plan.
How to find the best private health insurance in Barbados
Choosing the right private health insurance plan can be a daunting task as there are numerous options available in Barbados. One of the best decisions you can make as an expat is to chat with our insurance experts at Pacific Prime.
We have over two decades of experience in the industry and are committed to finding the perfect health insurance plan to suit your budget and needs. Most importantly, our highly-trained experts at Pacific Prime provide free quotations, leverage our close partnerships with all major insurers, and have an extensive portfolio that consists of all the best plans. Contact us today so we can help!