Rwanda healthcare system

Learn About the Rwanda Healthcare System & Medical Insurance Options for Expats

Rwanda is a paradise on earth. On the map, the country appears to be in the shape of a heart. Rwanda is known for its people and their hospitality. However, not all is well in this paradise in terms of healthcare services. The medical facilities and services in Rwanda are inadequate. Here’s what you need to know about the Rwanda healthcare system and medical insurance options for expats.

Additionally, medical institutions often lack the requirements, including electricity and running water. Usually, the facilities do not have adequately trained medical professionals.

Complicated treatments that require diagnostic methods such as CAT scans and MRI are not readily available across the country. While hospitals can take care of basic, routine medical cases, patients in need of complex treatments must travel to South Africa. Severe cases such as heart diseases, strokes, and cancer are hard to treat in the country.

Therefore, expats must secure an global health insurance plan that covers medical evacuation. On the other hand, the CDC has health information for expats, digital nomads, and global citizens traveling to Rwanda.

Overview of Healthcare System

Public health insurance is mandatory for all the citizens of Rwanda. The Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme operates healthcare in Rwanda. People working and residing in the country need to get vaccinated against yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A, rubella, hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus-diphtheria, mumps, measles, and malaria.

Additionally, they need to have private health insurance. Malaria presents a significant health risk in Rwanda. Thus, residents must carry an anti-malarial medicine, use insect repellents, and sleep within bed nets.

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How the Rwandan Healthcare System Works for Expats

The Healthcare system in Rwanda is not at par with most of the developed nations. The hospitals often struggle to provide basic equipment, electricity, and running water. Hence, many expats prefer to travel to nearby countries, including South Africa, for more complicated or delicate medical procedures. We advise expats to opt for a comprehensive international health insurance policy. This policy should cover medical evacuation and airlift in case of an emergency.

Public Healthcare

All citizens of the country have access to medical treatment at public hospitals and free health insurance. Foreign aid funds the health expenditures in the country. Facilities provided under the foreign aid category are included in the public health insurance system. Rwanda currently operates a decentralized, well-functioning public healthcare service system.

Private Healthcare

At present, Rwanda lacks an adequate number of healthcare facilities. The private sector is working hard to improve the specialized medical infrastructure of the region. However, they are facing an acute shortage of funds to come up with proper medical treatment facilities. For foreign investors, this is undoubtedly an opportune moment wherein they can collaborate with the private owners and run public-private partnerships. It allows citizens to seek treatment in their own country. Public-private partnerships and collaborations are instrumental in playing an influential role in achieving universal healthcare.

Emergency Medical Services

CHUK care is an ambulance service that provides emergency and non-emergency service to the citizens of the country. Additionally, drivers and guides in the country have experience in first aids.

Medicines and Pharmacies

Local pharmacies and private hospitals procure their supplies from wholesale pharmacies. The basic operating style of these wholesale pharmacies includes directly importing from foreign exporters and manufacturers or, are representing them. Similarly, most medicines are available over the counter. However, medications that involve serious illnesses require a proper prescription.

Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats

Many international companies offer private expat health insurance plans at competitive rates. Public and private healthcare must be supplemented with an international health insurance cover that provides medical airlifting and overseas evacuation. Select the most popular international insurance plans offered by Cigna Global and Allianz International. The healthcare institutions of Rwanda mostly recognize them.

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