Grenada Medical Insurance
Grenada is a group of three larger islands (Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique) and several tiny islands, all located in the Caribbean. It lies northeast of Trinidad and Tobago, and to the southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 344 square kilometers, with an estimated population of 110,000. Grenada is known as "Spice Isle" for being a leading exporter of nutmeg and mace crops to the world. The country has one of the most developed economies in the Caribbean, but has been saddled with rebuilding its infrastructure after Hurricane Ivan ripped through the nation in 2004. Grenada remains a gorgeous island, abundant in pristine beaches and picturesque towns. The capital, St. George's, is commonly held to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean.
The Grenadian health policy aims at ensuring that every citizen has access to health care treatment. Both public and private medical facilities are available. Grenada has focused on health education promotion, primary care and preventative measures in order to eradicate communicable diseases, keep the population healthy, and to try and minimize increasing healthcare costs. With improved access to clean drinking water, medications and general health knowledge, health standards have improved steadily. The overall quality and delivery of the health care system is amongst the highest in the Caribbean however those requiring more advanced treatment will need to leave the islands to procure it.
The Grenadian Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for policy formulation, regulation, and financial administration of the health care sector. The MOH has direct control of the public health system and the private sector is regulated by them through legislation. The health system receives its funding from general taxation through the Ministry of Finance, with additional aid from International agencies for certain health projects and programs. Supervision and control over public financing of health are the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and the MOH, under the direction of Parliament. The government allocates approximately 12% of the country's annual budget towards the healthcare sector, with public hospital costs accounting for roughly 46% of all Grenadian healthcare expenditure. The MOH collects revenue through user fees (with exemptions for the elderly, children and other vulnerable groups) at hospitals to cover private ward use and certain diagnostic services. Outside of these fees at state hospitals, health care services are generally provided to citizens at no cost. There is no public health insurance scheme in Grenada. Those looking for insurance will find several private options available in the capital St. George’s.
Grenada is divided into seven different health districts; each assigned a district medical officer, several categories of nurses, dentists, pharmacists, environmental health officers and other support services. Six of the districts have a health center, which is the major primary care facility, and an additional 30 medical stations distributed throughout the country that should act as the first point of contact within the health system. The entire population of Grenada should be within easy access of at least one of these facilities. The MOH’s network of public hospitals in Grenada consists of 3 acute care hospitals: the General Hospital in the capital St. George’s, with 240 beds and two rural hospitals - the Princess Royal with 40 beds and the Princess Alice in Carriacou with 56 beds. There is also Mt. Gay, a psychiatric hospital with 80 beds, which handles chronic patients, and Richmond Home, a geriatric facility with 120 beds. There are five ambulances, four on mainland Grenada and one on Carriacou. For an ambulance in St. George's, call 434. For an ambulance in St. Andrew's, call 724. For an ambulance on the island of Carriacou, call 774.
The General Hospital is a referral hospital providing the highest quality of in-patient and out-patient treatment available in the Grenada. Services include: 24-hour emergency care, surgery, specialist medical treatment and other support services. There is also a private ward with amenities and premium consultation for those that are willing to pay. Princess Alice Hospital has limited diagnostic capability; all x-rays and laboratory services are provided at the General Hospital, requiring patients to be transferred there. There is a limited referral system between hospitals and patients attending other community medical facilities are referred to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department for admission to said hospitals. As a consequence, many people go directly to A&E which can result in lengthy waiting times.
Health care in Grenada has been provided mainly through public facilities but the demand for private medical services is increasing. Private facilities are mainly located in the capital and include five acute hospitals, thirteen nursing homes, two maternity units and several single-practitioner clinics to provide care for paying customers. Many doctors operate in both the public and private sector. St. Augustine's Medical Services (SAMS) is an 18-bed private hospital facility which treats medical, surgical, emergency and maternity admissions. A patient's private doctor may perform surgery at this facility. Another private hospital in Grenada is Marryshow's Hospital and Health Clinic which offers a full range of treatment options. There is one private hospital on the sister Isle of Carriacou, CHS-Carriacou Health Services, which provides a wide range of services including basic surgery. There are no hospitals on Petite Martinique but they have a medical clinic that can take care of minor injuries.
An expatriate in Grenada should keep up to date with regional weather. The hurricane season normally runs from June to November. Take precaution against mosquito-bites as dengue fever is common to the Carribean and outbreaks can occur periodically throughout the year. Before visiting Grenada consult with a doctor for medical advice and for up-to-date information of current health issues affecting the country. Pharmacies are usually well stocked, and prescription medicine is available, but travelers are advised to bring with them sufficient prescription medicine for the length of their stay as occasionally there are temporary shortages of medicines.
The healthcare system in Grenada is limited in the medical treatment it can provide for patients. Most doctors and hospitals will expect payment in cash, regardless of whether or not you have travel health insurance. In cases of serious health emergency or prolonged medical treatment, a patient will probably require air ambulance services to a country with state-of-the-art facilities (most likely the USA). It is, therefore, strongly recommended that international visitors purchase Grenadian international health insurance which includes cover for air ambulatory evacuation and medical repatriation services.
Pacific Prime will consult and offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs should you plan to travel to Grenada. 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.