Those moving or traveling to Fiji will undoubtedly have many questions regarding how their healthcare system works, as well as whether private health insurance in Fiji is necessary. This brief guide provides information about Fiji’s healthcare system, and further outlines the key health insurance options available in the country. Read on to learn more, or click below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is a cluster of mainly untouched heavenly islands located in the middle of the South Pacific ocean. In total, there are roughly 333 islands that make up the Fiji archipelago and currently one-third of those islands are inhabited by humans. The majority of Fiji’s roughly 880,000 population reside in the urban areas of the two larger islands - Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
All the islands are scattered over a vast area of ocean totaling 1,290,000 square kilometers, making it truly one of the best island hopping destinations for any traveler on Earth. Most of these islands are lined with palm-fringed white sand beaches and incredibly lush rainforests, surrounded by thriving, biodiverse coral reefs and fish-filled natural lagoons.
Healthcare in Fiji
Fiji is generally viewed as a developing country and the standard of healthcare across Fiji reflects this well. Currently, the country has a total of 25 hospitals consisting of public and privately-run hospitals. Expats, along with their family members, and travelers visiting the islands, whether it’s for a short or long period, must ensure they are covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy, so they can gain access to private medical care if the need arises.
Public healthcare in Fiji
Across Fiji, the standard of healthcare varies greatly. In urban areas, public healthcare services are rated adequate. Of the 25 hospitals in Fiji, there are 4 main public hospitals in Fiji: two on the main island of Viti Levu, and two on Vanua Levu. The largest and oldest hospital is the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Suva, and the second-largest hospital is Nadi District Hospital. Both of these hospitals are located in Viti Levu. The two smaller hospitals - Labasa Hospital and Savusavu - are located in Vanua Levu.
In rural areas, the quality of care and treatment is considered lower. Health facilities are quite basic and inefficient to meet the current medical needs and demands of today’s medical problems. Another thing to consider is the poor staffing levels of medical professionals, which results in long waiting times. With these in mind, before traveling to Fiji, whether you are an expat or traveler, it is best to secure international health insurance to access private healthcare that is likely to be closer to the standards experienced in your home country.
Private healthcare in Fiji
Many of the top private healthcare hospitals are found on the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. These hospitals typically have 24-hour medical centers with a number of qualified general practitioners, specialist medical professionals, and accommodation.
Oceania Hospital is the largest private hospital in Fiji. The hospital offers many medical services such as imaging medicine, laboratory medicine, specialty, cardiology, and CT scanning. Another private hospital is Pacific Specialist Healthcare (PSH). It is a hospital that was recently opened in 2017, and has advanced equipment and state-of-the-art facilities. These range from robust outpatient services, a medical pathology lab, to purpose-built surgical wards, and in-patient wards. Individuals that have secured international health insurance will find that their plan will include these hospitals as institutions to visit for healthcare.
General advice for travelers and expats
No matter where you are traveling to in the world, it is best to research on the risks and dangers of the country you plan on going to. Here we provide some simple pieces of advice:
Petty crime, such as theft from hotel rooms, hostels, and pickpocketing, is common.
- Be vigilant at night in urban areas. Don’t go places on your own where security is poor.
- Do not show signs of affluence, and be alert when exchanging money at hotels or withdrawing money from ATMs or banks.
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your jewelry, wallet/purse, passport, and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout Fiji and on different islands.
- The roads are adequate in major cities but poor and often dangerous in rural areas.
- When traveling by car, stay on the main roads; avoid secondary roads.
- Be warned that roadside assistance is not widely available in case of a breakdown. Avoid driving outside of major cities after dark.
- There are many road hazards to be aware of when driving including pedestrians, domestic or wild animals, lack of signage, and poor lighting.
If you plan on hiking during your stay in Fiji or travels across the archipelago:
- Never do so alone and always hire an experienced travel guide from a reputable tour/hiking company.
- Ensure that your physical condition is good and strong enough to meet the demands of your chosen activity.
- Ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about the weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard. Check the latest local weather reports here - Fiji Meteorological Service.
- Inform a family member or friend of your primary and contingency plans, including when your meeting points.
- Know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal.
- Obtain detailed information and the latest updates on trekking routes before setting out. Be advised not to venture off marked trails.
Swimming and diving
- Riptides around certain islands across the archipelago can be dangerous, especially along the reefs and river estuaries.
- Seek local advice, and observe warning signs.
- If you participate in water-based activities, use a reputable company and ensure that its equipment meets safety requirements. Health and safety is a priority.
Recommended vaccinations before traveling to Fiji
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
Be sure to visit your local doctor or travel advisor to confirm what you actually need them before heading out to Fiji.
Medical evacuation plan
For an expatriate or traveler, it is important to consider the options for evacuation from Fiji, in case of emergencies or for necessary treatment that the private hospitals and medical centers cannot provide. Discuss with an international health insurance provider, such as Pacific Prime, about medical evacuation plans to supplement international health insurance.
How to find the best health insurance for expats and travelers
With over two decades of extensive experience gained from across the globe, Pacific Prime can assist with any of your Fiji health insurance needs. By leveraging our close relationships with major international insurers, we offer professional advice and free plan comparisons to our clients.
No matter what your budget is, or what your requirements are, our professional consultants can match you with a policy that best fits you or your group. Our policies can cover a wide range of services, including dental, maternity, specialist consultation, health emergency transportation, inpatient services, and many more aspects.
Expatriates with family members can also secure international cover for the whole family. For international students or travelers in search of international health insurance or travel insurance, Pacific Prime is the go-to insurance intermediary for the best impartial advice and guidance.
Contact us today for a free consultation!