Tuvalu Health Insurance
Those moving or traveling to Tuvalu will undoubtedly have many questions regarding how Tuvalu’s healthcare system works, as well as whether private health insurance in Tuvalu is necessary. This guide provides information about Tuvalu, it’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.
Tuvalu is a stunning tropical paradise offering an exclusive island getaway in the Pacific. Formally known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is the fourth-smallest country in the world. With a landmass of only 26 km², Tuvalu is only larger than Nauru at 21 km², Monaco at 1.95km² and the Vatican City at 0.44 km². The country lies just west of the International Date Line, and close to 1,000 km north of the Fijian islands. Tuvalu is built up of six separate atolls and three islands spread out along a northwest-southeast chain that is 676 km long. It is a remote and untouched corner of the Pacific that offers a peaceful and non-commercialized environment, which would be ideal for rest and relaxation. Tuvalu’s capital is the island of Funafuti, which is also where the international airport and a large portion of the population are located.
The Tuvalu islands came under British control in the late 19th century. It was administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916, and then from 1916 to 1974, it was a part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. Tuvalu became an independent constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth in 1978. Since its independence, the Tuvaluan economy has depended mainly on the Tuvalu Trust Fund (TTF) and proceeds from the sale of Tuvalu’s internet address, “.tv”.
Tuvalu healthcare system
The healthcare system within Tuvalu is administered and regulated by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The healthcare sector is extremely small and is funded through regional and international donor agencies and partners. As of 2014, the health workforce of Tuvalu was comprised of 131 staff, which includes 10 doctors and 44 trained nurses.
The Princess Margaret Hospital is the only hospital in the country and is located in the capital of Funafuti. In the outer islands. there are clinics manned by nurses that provide primary care and preventive services. The hospital offers slightly better services, being staffed with both doctors and nurses. The medical facilities are generally adequate for routine medical treatment, including dental, and maternity care. A majority of the tourists and expatriates visiting Tuvalu use medical evacuation to other countries to obtain a higher quality of medical care.
In Tuvalu, there are no private medical practices and pharmacies, and all the facilities available on the islands are public, with 99 percent of total health funding provided by the government.
Tuvalu travel advice
The National Bank of Tuvalu on Funafuti is the country’s only bank, which accepts several major currencies for exchange. The Australian currency is the legal tender, though there are also Tuvaluan 10c, 20c, 50c and $1 coins. Apart from the National Bank, there is also a Western Union branch located on Funafuti that can be used for money transfers. It is recommended for travelers and expatriates to take enough currency with you to cover your trip because there are no ATMs, and no credit-card facilities available in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu is a small country in a remote location, making travel to and from the country limited and difficult. Civilian airline transport only travels to and from the international airport 2 times during the week, since March 2011. Considering the options for medical evacuation from the country of Tuvalu is extremely important. Medical air evacuation to Fiji or Australia from Tuvalu will be required if a person is injured or has become ill in any serious way. Discuss with your international health insurance provider about your options for medical evacuation from Tuvalu.
Dengue fever is the main infectious disease that has a real presence in Tuvalu. While vaccinations for typhoid, hepatitis A & B, and rabies have been recommended by the WHO before visiting Tuvalu there is little presence of these diseases. Take preventative measures from being bitten by mosquitoes to avoid catching dengue fever. Malaria, though usually among the culprits of mosquito-borne diseases, is not present in Tuvalu. Comprehensive travel insurance or Tuvalu private health insurance can help to offset medical and medical evacuation costs, should something happen to you while staying in Tuvalu.
Tuvalu health insurance
While Tuvalu’s healthcare infrastructure and healthcare system are extensive, medical facilities are considered basic in comparison to western standards. In the event of a serious illness or accident, visitors and resident expatriates in the country are advised to seek medical assistance in Fiji or Australia. Therefore, it is highly recommended that all foreign nationals in the country obtain a comprehensive international health insurance policy which contains an emergency evacuation benefit.
If you would like more information about traveling, or moving to Tuvalu and obtaining the best medical insurance policy for the occasion, feel free to contact one of our dedicated advisors today.