Learn about the Healthcare System & Medical Insurance Options for Expats in Mauritius
Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, homes exotic beaches, lagoons, and reefs. Expats can enjoy an adventurous lifestyle by exploring the waterfalls and hiking trails. Whether you are an expat, global citizen, or a digital nomad, it is vital to know and understand how the country’s healthcare system functions before moving. Mauritius has two categories, public and private sectors. Citizens and expats can avail of the country’s public health services. Here’s what you need to know about the Mauritius healthcare system and medical insurance options for expats.
Expats can further make their stay in Mauritius convenient by procuring an excellent international health insurance plan before coming to the country. The CDC has more information on vaccinations and health information for expats moving to Mauritius.
Overview of Healthcare in Mauritius
Mauritius has five regional and two district hospitals (Souillac Hospital and Mahebourg Hospital). Some hospitals specialize in specific domains. These hospitals include the otorhinolaryngological hospital in Vacoas (ENT), the Brown Sequard psychiatric clinic in Beau-Bassin, the Subramaniam Bharati eye hospital in Moka, and the Poudre d’Or (chest) hospital.
Healthcare is free in public hospitals, whereas, in private clinics and practices, it may be very costly. Many private clinics have advanced facilities due to high investments. It has promoted the medical tourism industry in Mauritius in a big way.
Regional authorities within Mauritius are making all efforts to reduce the instruments of bureaucracy in medical visa procedures. It will be a relief for foreign patients. Since private healthcare is expensive, it is wise to be insured under a health cover. Though the healthcare system in Mauritius is capable of treating most health conditions, you may have to travel overseas for specialized treatment.
Reunion Island, India, and South Africa are the favorite medical destinations for Mauritians to get the advanced treatment that is not available in their country. If you are an expat and need proper hassle-free care, you must buy a comprehensive insurance cover.
How the Mauritius Healthcare System Works for Expats
Although for residents, healthcare in Mauritius is publicly funded, as an expat, you would typically have to pay for your medical costs. It makes it very important for you to ensure that you have proper medical insurance before you enter Mauritius.
The island has plenty of public hospitals. However, most expats prefer private hospitals like the Darne Clinic or the Apollo Bramwell Hospital. These hospitals offer more services and have high standards of facilities. Mauritius lacks a few complicated medical technologies. Therefore, patients needing these have to move to a hospital in South Africa or the Reunion islands.
There are no cases of malaria in Mauritius apart from a few rural areas. Therefore, you do not specifically need any vaccinations, except if you come from a country with yellow fever transmission risk. However, get yourself immunized against tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR), including hepatitis A and B.
Public Healthcare in Mauritius
Several dispensaries and hospitals in rural and urban areas throughout Mauritius provide public healthcare services. These services are entirely free of charge and available to every resident of the country. Apart from these public hospitals, there are several other health centers located in various parts of the island.
Although public hospitals offer very economical services, they usually lack state-of-the-art infrastructure, equipment, or medication. These public facilities also have very long waiting times.
Private Healthcare in Mauritius
Mauritius has an extensive range of experts and consultation clinics. With its presence throughout the island, these private healthcare services have the most sophisticated equipment and provide a very high quality of care.
Different from public hospitals, private sector hospitals offer superior quality of treatment and are therefore expensive. This high-price treatment is a more significant reason for having a comprehensive health insurance plan. This plan must cover all medical expenses.
Mauritius also has various private care clinics that are well-equipped for regular medication and even a few specialties. Towns and villages throughout Mauritius have medical clinics and centers that operate 24×7. They provide a range of healthcare and medical treatments.
Emergency Medical Services in Mauritius
For emergency medical assistance in Mauritius, dial 999 or 114 and request an ambulance. You can avail of both private and state ambulance services, though they differ in quality and promptness.
Medicines and Pharmacies
The whole island has pharmacies throughout its geography. Pharmacies in Mauritius always have clearly defined signs. A primary one, Newton Pharmacy, is situated at Port Louis. However, there are many other pharmacies and medicine outlets in all big cities. Most of them are generally open from 8 am to 5 pm on regular business days, except on Saturdays when they are open till 2 pm.
Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats in Mauritius
As an expatriate, you generally can choose to make a payment to the Caisse des Français overseas (CFE), which is the counterpart of social security. This complementary health insurance covers all possible medical expenses and also provides additional guarantee benefits.
You should purchase private international health insurance before you travel to Mauritius. Cigna Global and Allianz International are two of the most popular plans you can consider for Mauritius. It makes sense to check ahead of time what your health policy covers. Many plans include the standard health care costs, but serious injuries or illnesses that may require medical evacuation may not be covered. Your insurance policy must also essentially cover emergency evacuation.