Your guide to health insurance in Montenegro
Located in southeastern Europe and part of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro is a small middle-income country with a population of about 600,000. The terrain varies, ranging from mountains near the Albanian and Serbian borders, to the coastline facing the Adriatic Sea.
Those moving or traveling to Montenegro will undoubtedly have many questions regarding how the local healthcare system works, the development of healthcare, and whether private health insurance is necessary. The short guide below provides useful information about healthcare and insurance in Montenegro, as well as health insurance options for expats living there. Read on to learn more, or click the button below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Healthcare system in Montenegro
Montenegro is said to have "the most backward health system in Europe". Total healthcare expenditure in Montenegro is relatively low at USD $578 per capita in 2010, which amounts to approximately 6 percent of its GDP. Health care is largely funded by payroll contributions of 10.5 percent, paid to the Health Insurance Fund (HIF). Only USD $5.5 million was provided for all public hospital supplies in 2016, about a third of what was thought necessary.
Montenegro’s healthcare workforce has somewhat improved over the years. There are 2,061 medical doctors working in the healthcare system in 2018, which is around 3.3 doctors per 1,000 people, compared with a European average of 3.4. They also had 5.2 nurses and midwives in 2018, compared with a European average of 5.5. However, they also have the lowest proportion of pharmacists per head in Europe – 17 per 100,000 in 2015.
Public healthcare predominates; as of 2013 there were 19 public medical centres, ten general hospitals, and three special hospitals, namely the Institute for Health, the Pharmaceutical Institute of Montenegro, and The Podgorica Clinical Center. Private medical practices in Montenegro comprise dental clinics, medical centres and pharmacies.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), utilisation of healthcare services in Montenegro is generally higher than European norms, with 99 percent of all births attended by skilled healthcare professionals; and measles immunisations provided for 89 percent of one year olds.
What should expats do before travelling to Montenegro?
Prior to arriving in Montenegro, it is advisable that all expatriates and travellers intending on visiting the country consult with a medical professional specializing in travel medicine. All travellers should ensure that routine vaccinations, such as vaccinations against Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A and B, DPT, and Polio, should be up to date.
Moreover, there is a limited risk from Rabies within Montenegro and consequently all travellers, especially those who may be exposed to contact with animals, receive a vaccination before departing their home nation. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and avian flu have also occurred in the region; precautions include wearing long sleeved clothing, using insect repellent with DEET and using alcohol based hand sanitiser.
As with most destinations, diarrhoea is the most common affliction for travellers. Drink only bottled water and avoid raw foods. Over-the-counter antidiarrheal pills should be used to treat mild cases.
Although Montenegro is in many ways a modern European country and is a strong candidate for membership in the European Union, serious medical incidents can require medical evacuation – usually to Germany – for proper care.
Furthermore, corruption is also a serious problem, according to Montenegro’s own health ministry; requesting informal payments for medical services is not uncommon. Private healthcare facilities will usually require payment prior to treating a patient, typically in the form of cash. As such, it is advised that all expatriates in Montenegro obtain a comprehensive international medical insurance policy which provides an emergency evacuation benefit.
With extensive years of experience throughout the world, Pacific Prime’s skilled teams worldwide can assist you with any health insurance needs in Montenegro. 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, transportation, inpatient services, and many more aspects. Please contact us today for a free medical insurance consultation.