Learn About The Healthcare System & Insurance Options for Expats in The Bahamas
Situated off the coast of Florida, the USA, the Bahamas is a paradise with a developed healthcare system. The government continues to strive towards channeling investment into the healthcare sector. As a result, public hospitals are equipped with advanced medical infrastructure and trained medical professionals. The healthcare system of the country is considered excellent in terms of its services. Furthermore, the local government continues to be on its mission of improving the lives of its people. Here’s all you need to know about the Bahamas healthcare.
In recent years, various programs and initiatives have been launched to reduce disability, illnesses, and death caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. The government has also taken the action of promoting immunization for all the adults living in the country. In association with the Ministry of Health, this program aims at minimizing preventable diseases such as hepatitis B, yellow fever, measles, influenza, tetanus, mumps, and rubella. Expats can also get themselves the protection of international health insurance for seeking global coverage when needed. The CDC has more details on vaccinations you need to get before traveling to the Bahamas.
Overview of Healthcare System
The government of the Bahamas supervises and administers the healthcare system in the country. Pregnant women, children, civil servants, and senior citizens over 60 years old have access to free healthcare. Regardless of one’s ability to pay, access to public health care services is often free of charge. However, we advise travelers and expats planning to reside in the Bahamas to get a health insurance policy. A global health plan should provide international coverage for their basic medical needs.
How the Bahamas Healthcare System Works for Expats
Comprising the public and the private hospitals, the healthcare system in the Bahamas provides access to treatment to travelers and expats alike. The medical insurance plans do not offer coverage in the US, leading you to experience a variance in the quality of treatment provided. It is because the Bahamas is in a different geographical zone. The medical plans applicable in the US may not be relevant in the Bahamas. Therefore, we encourage you to get private international health insurance to gain full coverage. Not securing a policy result in upfront payment at the majority of the hospitals. On the other hand, you can also save your receipts and reimburse the cost from your employer or the insurance company. But, since medical treatment is expensive in the Bahamas, we recommend expats to opt for a suitable health insurance plan.
Public Healthcare in the Bahamas
The Public Hospitals Authority in the Bahamas manages the public healthcare system. It is one of the most successful healthcare systems in the entire Caribbean. The Princess Margaret Hospital, Grand Bahama Health Service, and the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre are the most popular public hospitals in the Bahamas. They come under the jurisdiction of the Bahamas with over 1,000 beds and state-of-the-art medical infrastructure.
Private Healthcare in the Bahamas
There are two private hospitals in the Bahamas; the Lyford Cay and the JCI-accredited Doctor’s Hospital. These private hospitals offer general and emergency services, as well as specialized care for patients with severe medical conditions. If it is a problematic procedure, patients will go through a transfer process to the USA. Here, they will receive immediate care. Furthermore, medical professionals in the Bahamas are proficient in the English language. The nurses, doctors, therapists, and a range of other medical professionals are full of dedication when it comes to providing care for all the patients.
Emergency Medical Services in the Bahamas
In the event of a severe medical emergency, the ambulance services can be accessed at 919, fire at 411, and police at 911. Dial 242-326 for general help.
Medicines and Pharmacies
Medicines in the Bahamas are often more costly than the USA. Prescriptions are a prerequisite for purchasing medications that can easily be obtained at any of the clinics. Common prescriptions are available with general physicians. Pharmacies are located across most of the shopping centers, but prescriptions are mandatory to buy medicine.
Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in the Bahamas
The international health insurance plans in the Bahamas are available in customized format depending on your need and level of coverage desired. The cost of additional coverage for dental, outpatient, and maternity will vary as per the plan. Expats moving to the Bahamas for work are advised to purchase a private international health insurance policy. But before doing so, they must ensure that it provides coverage to overseas medical evacuation during a serious medical emergency. You can go for insurance plans offered by Allianz International or Cigna Global. For more information, contact Expat Financial.