Health Insurance in Grenada
Interested in the healthcare landscape in Grenada? You have come to the right place as this guide provides you with all you need to know about the country’s healthcare system - complete with information about health insurance in Grenada and some useful travel tips. It is a must for anyone planning a short holiday or permanent move to the country. Read on for more information or click below to receive a free insurance quote!
Grenada is located in the Caribbean Sea, consisting of the island of Grenada and six tiny islands. It lies northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348 square kilometers and has an estimated population of 110,000. This is largely composed of ethnically African individuals, who speak English and creole-based languages. When you think about Grenada, you probably think of a gorgeous island - abundant in pristine beaches and picturesque towns. The capital, St. George's, is also commonly held to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean. Often referred to as the “island of spice”, Grenada is a large exporter of nutmeg and mace. In terms of healthcare matters, the country reportedly has one of the best systems in the region.
Healthcare system in Grenada
The Grenadian health policy aims at ensuring that every citizen has access to healthcare treatment. Both public and private medical facilities are available in the country. The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Grenada is responsible for policy formulation, regulation, and financial administration of the healthcare sector. It has direct control over the public healthcare system and regulates the private healthcare sector through various legislation.
Public healthcare sector
The country 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.
Public healthcare sector funding comes from taxation, with aid from international agencies for certain programs. User fees are also collected at hospitals (with exemptions for the elderly, children, and other vulnerable groups) to cover private wards and certain diagnostic services. Outside of these fees, healthcare services are largely free.
Hospitals and facilities
Here are some the MOH’s network of public hospitals in Grenada:
- General Hospital (240 beds) - Referral hospital providing the highest quality of in-patient and out-patient treatment available.
- Princess Alice Hospital (56 beds) - Limited diagnostic capabilities, requiring patients who need X-rays/laboratory services to be transferred to the General Hospital.
- Princess Royal Hospital in a rural area (40 beds).
- Mt. Gay (80 beds) - a psychiatric hospital, which handles chronic patients.
- Richmond Home (120 beds) - a geriatric facility.
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.
Private healthcare sector
While healthcare in Grenada is mainly provided through public facilities, here has been an increasing demand for private medical services in Grenada. These facilities are predominantly located in the capital - including five acute hospitals, thirteen nursing homes, two maternity units, and several single practitioner clinics. It is very common for doctors to practice in both the public and private sectors, though it is quicker to consult them in private facilities due to its shorter wait times.
Patients seeking consultation or treatment in private facilities will be required to pay-out-of-pocket, unless they have sufficient coverage via a health insurance plan. Furthermore, another thing to note is that most doctors and hospitals will expect payment in cash, regardless of whether or not you possess health insurance.
Hospitals and facilities
Here are some private hospitals in Grenada:
- St. Augustine’s Medical Services (18 beds) - Treats medical, surgical, emergency and maternity admissions.
- Marryshow's Hospital and Health Clinic - Offers a full range of treatment options.
- CHS-Carriacou Health Services - Provides many services including basic surgery.
- Medical clinic on Petite Martinique island - Takes care of minor injuries.
Grenada Travel Advice
If you’re visiting Grenada, you should take into account some of the following tips regarding health and safety.
General: Most visits to Grenada are trouble free, but there have been cases of violent crime. Take care when driving at night, especially on narrow roads and blind corners. You should note that ocean currents can be strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
Hurricane: The hurricane season normally runs from June to November, so you should monitor the progress of any approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Center website and follow instructions issued by local authorities.
Earthquakes: Watch out for any earthquakes as the region is prone to them. For more information about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, check out the US Emergency Management website.
Volcanoes: Monitor the alert level of the underwater volcano ‘Kick’em Jenny’, located 5 miles off the coast of Grenada. Observe any maritime exclusion zones and follow the advice of the local authorities if there is a risk of eruption.
Dengue Fever: Take precaution against mosquito-bites as dengue fever is common to the Caribbean and outbreaks can occur periodically throughout the year. Stay away from artificial water containers as that is where mosquitos primarily breed.
Medicines: Pharmacies are usually well stocked, and prescription medicine is available, but travelers are advised to bring with them sufficient prescription medicine as occasionally there are temporary shortages of medicines. Check customs requirements first.
Emergency services: 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.
Please note that the information on this page is not fully comprehensive and is subject to change without prior warning. It is advisable to consult with a local Grenada embassy should you have any doubts before you depart on your journey.
Private health insurance for expats in Grenada
Most expats will find the healthcare system in Grenada to be limiting, especially when it comes to the range of medical treatments on offer. In case of a serious health emergency or prolonged medical treatment, expats will have to be medically evacuated to a country with state-of-the-art facilities. This will probably be the United States. Given the exorbitant costs of healthcare in the US and of medical evacuation, expats are strongly urged to secure a private health insurance plan.
Looking for a suitable health insurance plan? Pacific Prime can offer foreign nationals in Grenada with travel insurance or international health insurance that meets their individual needs and budgets. We offer a wide variety of policies with possible benefit packages including dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many more. Enjoy the security that our extensive health insurance plans can provide and get in touch with one of our insurance advisors today!