Guyana Medical Insurance
Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana, is located along the Atlantic Ocean, on the Northeast coast of Latin America. The country shares a border with Suriname to the East, Venezuela to the Northwest, and Brazil to the South and SouthWest. The total geographical area of Guyana is around 214,970 square kilometers, among which about 196,850 square kilometers is land area and the remaining 18,120 square kilometers is water. The capital city of Guyana is Georgetown, which is located on the coast.
Guyana lies near the equator and the climate of the country is warm and tropical all year round. Rainfall and humidity in the country is relatively high most of the year. There are two rainy seasons in Guyana, namely between April to July and November to January. Along the coastal area, the climate is tempered by sea breezes. The annual average temperature of Guyana is between 23 and 31°C.
Guyana is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and the eco-tourist alike. It is one of the world's most exciting and perhaps less well-known destinations for adventurous travel and exploration. The country is full of fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty; unspoiled tropical rainforests, enormous waterfalls, amazing wildlife, combined with exciting native culture, rich heritage and some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world, are a few reasons that attract people to visit Guyana.
The healthcare system in Guyana consists of both public and private sectors. The Government of Guyana operates a health care system that is universal and can be accessed by every citizen. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in comparison to the rest of the world’s healthcare systems, Guyana ranked 128 out of 190 countries. The public sector is the major healthcare provider in Guyana, although in recent years there has been an increase in the number of private providers. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for the effective operation of Guyana’s healthcare system. This includes establishing regulations, determining national health policies, developing legislation, building healthcare facilities and to ensure that the provision of healthcare services meet a reasonable standard. The Government of Guyana primarily financed the public healthcare services. The total expenditure on healthcare is currently around 4.88% of the country’s GDP.
Healthcare services in the public sector are split into five levels depending on the facilities and level of care available, namely Level I - health posts, Level II - health centres, Level III - district hospitals, Level IV - regional hospitals and Level V - referral hospitals. Levels I and II provide mainly preventive care and focus only on simple curative care for common diseases, these tend to be staffed by community health workers or nurses and nursing assistants. Most of the health posts and health centres are located in the rural areas of the country and primarily serve the healthcare needs of the poor. In general, however, people living in rural areas have limited or no access to physicians and hospital treatments. Services provided by public hospitals are generally free of charge, however, there are a few services and private room accommodations that would require patients to make out of pocket payment.
Private medical care is also available in Guyana. There are a few private hospitals located within the capital city. Private sector is responsible for their own financing; patients are required to pay for any services rendered either from out-of-pocket payments or through private health insurance. Given that Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, only a small group of the population can afford private healthcare sector.
In general, the standard of healthcare in Guyana is far from meeting the standard of western countries. There is a shortage of nurses in Guyana, one of the reasons being that skilled nurses emigrated from Guyana to other countries in the world. Salaries of medical staffs are very low, and the working environments are poor, medical personnel are highly unmotivated. As such, recruiting and retaining medical staff is one of the issues that the MOH needs to face. Other contributors that affect the quality of healthcare delivery include poor medical facilities, lack of basic equipments and medical supply in medical centres and poor sanitation at healthcare facilities. Ambulance services in the country are also problematic and may not be available in emergency situations.
The healthcare sector in Guyana is unable to offer certain reliable good quality specialised medical services especially in regards to emergency surgery, as there are no medical specialists available in the country. Moreover, the medical equipment in hospitals is often outdated and has not been properly maintained, and Guyana cannot afford the cost of new technology and supplies required for diagnosis and treatments. For specialised treatments, patients in Guyana will have no option other than seeking services and treatments from overseas. While Guyanese citizens may receive monetary assistance from the MOH to travel overseas to obtain treatment, expatriates and travellers may be expected to pay for any such travel and medical treatment out of pocket, which may be exorbitantly expensive.
It is highly recommended that International visitors or expats to take out comprehensive travel insurance before making your trip to Guyana or an expat medical insurance plan should you decide to stay in the country for a longer period. This will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical transportation and evacuation in the event of a serious illness or accident.
We offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs, including benefits such as dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many others. We offer a large variety of healthcare plans as well as travellers insurance plans. Contact our professional advisers today to enjoy full insurance protection such as a Health Insurance Plan for yourself and your family.