Healthcare Information for Expatriates in Africa
Africa is the world’s second-largest continent, both in terms of landmass and population density. Steady economic development over several years has established this continent as a preferred choice for people relocating to international destinations. Students, expats, global nomads, and tourists alike find this continent to be irresistible due to the many picturesque attractions and vibrant culture. Africa is also the world’s youngest continent, with more than 60% of people 25 or younger. Our firm is very experienced in covering expats in Africa.
Just like its population, Africa’s healthcare system is still in the transition phase. Despite that, many African countries today are home to the best healthcare systems in the world. Like in every other continent, private hospitals in Africa are better equipped with the latest medical equipment. Expats who need healthcare assistance can go through the list of international hospitals in Africa that serve expatriates living across the continent. Don’t forget to check out the CDC South Africa page in case you are planning to move to Africa as the country is a key destination for treatment in Africa.
Due to the vastness of the continent and a host of developed and expanding economies, you can easily distinguish between the healthcare standards of different African countries. If you reside in some remote location, you will only have access to minimal medical aid, if any. If that is the case, you must buy comprehensive international insurance that covers evacuation due to medical reasons to a location where you can access just the kind of care you need.
Before moving to one of the African nations, you must know that many of them mostly have a cash mode of payment and do not prefer other forms of transaction. This means you will need to pay the hospital/clinic immediately after availing the treatment there. Many African countries are already working towards introducing a more user-friendly healthcare system.
Healthcare Systems in Various Major African Countries
Understanding the African Healthcare System – Information for Expatriates in Africa
As mentioned above, the quality of healthcare in Africa varies depending upon where you live. Public healthcare in Africa doesn’t cost much, but the system has its flaws in terms of lack of equipment and qualified staff, and fewer hospitals to treat a large number of people. Private healthcare facilities are in much better shape, but quality varies widely. Many expats in Africa will want to seek treatment in Europe or even the UAE.
The shortage of qualified medical staff and facilities are not the only problems that the African countries currently face. Many of them also experience frequent outbreaks of tropical and local diseases, apart from high levels of pollution and road accidents. All these untoward events can force you to often seek the aid of your host country’s healthcare system. You must be fully prepared to bear costly treatment at private hospitals or facilities with an international health insurance plan that’s valid across Africa.
There are lots of smaller clinics and pharmacies located across Africa. Expats can buy most of the medications from them without any hassle. Expats are also recommended to buy comprehensive Cigna Global Health Options plan that can cover all their medical expenses incurred within and out of Africa.
Emergency Assistance Numbers in Africa
Emergency medical services in Africa are not quite as good as those in the United States or the United Kingdom. Private hospitals offer better assistance to expats, but their services are costlier.
You can seek emergency medical support in Africa by calling up the following numbers:
Algeria – 14
Angola – 112 / 116
Egypt – 180
Kenya – 112 / 999 / 911
Morocco – 15
Nigeria – 112
Seychelles – 112 / 999
South Africa – 10 177
Tanzania – 114
Tunisia – 198
Uganda – 911
For details about the most trusted hospitals across Africa, click here.
Expats are recommended to buy comprehensive international insurance before moving to Africa. These plans can take care of all medical expenses, as well as the fee for shifting to a better hospital if the required treatment is not available in the nearest hospital or clinic. Sometimes, insurance companies may also require that you pay a hospital’s bill first before claiming reimbursement from them by producing the bills.
Several insurance companies offer international healthcare plans to expats for seeking treatment when needed across Africa. Almost all of these plans cover treatment at private hospitals across the continent. As per the need, expats can also avail the benefits of these plans by seeking treatment in some other country. As an expat in Africa, you can check out the best international health insurance policies and choose the one you like. Many expats usually prefer Cigna Global Medical due to its extensive plans and services. The Allianz global health plan is also an excellent choice for expats in Africa – you can even limit your coverage are to just Africa. You should always try to secure the insurance before moving to Africa so that you won’t have to deal with any unpleasant and unforeseen situation afterward.