Nauru Medical Insurance
Nauru, officially called the Republic of Nauru and previously known as Pleasant Island, is the world’s smallest island nation and is located in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Nauru’s total population is slightly less than 10,000 within a 21 square kilometer landmass. The population make up is approximately 58 percent indigenous Nauruan and 26 percent other Pacific Islander, with sizable minorities of Chinese and Europeans, each comprising about 6 percent respectively. Nauruans speak their own distinct language called Nauruan, though most people speak or understand English. The effect of colonialism on Nauru’s indigenous tribes and culture has been significant. Few old customs remain, but some forms of traditional song and dance, arts, hunting and fishing are still practiced. Located just 42 kilometers south of the Equator, Nauru enjoys a tropical climate. Temperatures rarely deviate below 25 degrees Celsius or above 35 degrees Celsius, ensuring hot and very humid conditions throughout the year. Nauru is affected by the westerly monsoon resulting in a wet season between November and February, although rainfall can unreliable and Nauru has experienced droughts in the past.
A recent study on the Nauru healthcare system has shown the following life expectancy rates for Nauru citizens: Men 49 years and Women 56.9 years. The Infant Mortality Rate is 10.14/1,000 births. Developing and maintaining high level health care is raked high among the main policy goals of the Nauruan government.
Nauru’s Department of Health recently undertook a major internal review with a view to developing systems aimed at improving health care standards for all citizens. Particular emphasis has been placed on sourcing trained medical personnel, development of medical infrastructure, sourcing adequate medical supplies and superior administration of healthcare services. There are two hospitals in Nauru and both are located in the capital Yaren. The Nauru General Hospital is administered by the government and it provides free medical treatment to the country’s citizens. The Nauru General hospital is affiliated to the Burmese Medical Council, Republic of Nauru Ministry of Health and the South African Medical and Dental Council. The Nauru Phosphate Corporation Hospital is part of the Nauru Phosphate Corporation, a private company, and provides private health care for employees and for expatriates’ resident in the country.
Both the Nauru Phosphate Corporation Hospital and the Nauru General Hospital are capable of providing routine day to day medical care; however, the infrastructure and care provided by both hospitals is far below international standards. Medical facilities are not adequate to support serious incidents and air-evacuation to Australia is necessary for patients suffering from severe medical issues. Most doctors and hospitals within Nauru will expect payment upfront and in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance. Due to the limited amount of high quality healthcare available in Nauru, and the necessity of overseas transport to Australia in the event of a serious illness or accident, it is highly advised that all expatriates and travelers in Nauru purchase some form of comprehensive international health insurance which provides an emergency evacuation benefit, prior to arrival in the country.
Nauru’s main health concerns are as a result of switching to a westernized diet and lifestyle. Diseases and illnesses such as tuberculosis, leprosy, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes are all prominent. Nauru has, per head of population, one of the world's highest levels of diabetes, renal failure and heart disease, with those affected numbering in excess of 40 percent of the population. Visitors to Nauru should seek medical advice before traveling.
Routine medical vaccination coupled with specific vaccinations against diseases such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Tetanus-diphtheria and Typhoid are strongly recommended for all individuals planning on traveling or relocating to Nauru. Diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness and visitors should purchase anti-diarrhea medicine before traveling. While malaria is not prevalent on Nauru, an outbreak of dengue fever was reported in March 2003 and appeared to be related to a refugee crisis on the island. Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes which prefer densely populated areas within which to thrive. No vaccine for Dengue fever is available at this time ,and standard insect protection measures such as wearing pants and long sleeve shirts and using insect repellant are advised. Mains tap water is clean and safe to drink. Bottled water is available for purchase at small roadside shops and stores. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are all considered safe to eat.
Nauru Emergency services can be contacted on both 117 and 118, but response capabilities are severely limited. The Nauru Phosphate Corporation Hospital may be contacted on 674-555-4155 and the Nauru General Hospital on 674-555-4302. Crime levels are low and all areas are considered safe. Counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available although strict customs procedures at Nauru International Airport mean these items can be removed from your luggage on departure. Access to and from Nauru is restricted to a small number of commercial air flights each week. These flights may be interrupted at short notice due to localized weather conditions, political or labor disputes, economic difficulties, and other reasons. If you travel to Nauru and an emergency arises, you should be prepared to wait until the situation has returned to normal.
Purchasing comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling to Nauru is strongly recommended. Emergency medical and healthcare costs are unreliable and expensive; expatriates within the country can expect limited treatment options. To ensure that you are sufficiently protected, purchase an international health insurance plan. Policies offered by Pacific Prime are globally portable and will provide coverage on a worldwide basis, allowing you to use the doctor or hospital of your choice anywhere on the planet. For more information about the various products and services Pacific Prime can offer, or to receive a free medical insurance quote, please contact one of our advisers today.