Healthcare for Expats in Argentina
This beautiful South American nation is quite popular among tourists and expats alike. The major reason behind its popularity is that the quality of life in Argentina is arguably the best in South America and Latin America combined. Healthcare services in all of Argentina’s major cities are quite good too; however, you cannot expect the quality to be the same in its rural areas. To ensure that your stay in Argentina is convenient, you could buy a good health insurance plan and get access to several healthcare facilities across the country. This CDC link will provide vital health information for travelers and expats to Argentina.
Various surveys suggest that expats in Argentina lead a fairly comfortable life. However, Spanish is the dominant language here, which can become a hurdle while interacting with the local people. Despite that, you will find it easy to get along with the warm and friendly locals who are quite passionate about many things like food and entertainment, and, of course, football.
Overview of Healthcare in Argentina
The healthcare system in Argentina is divided into three sectors for ease of use:
- The Public Sector: As many as half of Argentinians rely on the public sector for almost every medical need since all in-patient treatment is free under it. Not only the locals, but even tourists and expats can benefit from these government-funded programs. Out-patient treatment is also free; however, you will need to pay for any medication when required. Emergency medical care is again free for everyone. The hospital staff may have language constraints, but they are well-trained to provide top-notch healthcare services.
- The Private Sector: Since many people use public sector care, a lot of them need to wait in long queues for their turn. Those who have little time or don’t wish to wait that long can opt for private healthcare instead. These services are indeed a bit costlier but are worth it too. The fee may vary for every clinic, based upon the practitioner and location of the facility.
- The Social Security Sector: All Argentinians working professionals, employees and employers, are obliged to make a small contribution towards a semi-public health insurance scheme. Obras Sociales, as this system is popularly called, offers various kinds of social insurance plans to covered individuals. Most Argentinians who buy a health cover opt for these plans.
107 is the direct emergency medical services number for Argentina. Anyone who has a local phone or a payphone can call this number without needing to use their card or money. Several Argentinian pharmacies are open 24/7, where pharmacists can also recommend medications for common health issues. It’s also possible to buy several types of medications over the counter from the country’s pharmacies without furnishing a prescription.
Key Medical Information for Expats in Argentina:
- Equipment can be limited and outdated outside Buenos Aires. Doctors in rural areas often expect immediate cash payments.
- Public Hospitals in Argentina are often crowded
- Pharmacies are generally reliable and well-stocked in Argentina
- Blood transfusions are reliable in Buenos Aires but not considered safe elsewhere.
- Staff training may be limited outside private clinics in Buenos Aires.
- Hygiene standards are quote reliable in Buenos Aires but may be unreliable elsewhere.
How the Argentinian Healthcare System Works for Expats
The healthcare system in Argentina is a combination of mandatory public health insurance and private healthcare plans. As an expat, you must not rely on a state-run program solely. Buying a good international health cover will give you access to the country’s private medical facilities, and even get you medical care outside of the country. You must buy international health insurance before traveling to Argentina, even when you intend to stay for less than a year.
If your travel plans involve visiting remote areas in Argentina, it’s highly recommended that you pick a plan that also covers expenses for emergency evacuation, or covers transportation costs to the nearest hospital (which may be located a bit far away).
Necessary Insurance Paperwork for Expats
You do not need any special registration or document to make use of Argentina’s public healthcare system. You just need to carry your ID and other prescriptions/relevant documents to the facility for getting the treatment. When visiting a pharmacy, you need to have a doctor’s prescription for buying specific kinds of drugs. For private treatment, you don’t even need to produce your residence permit. Your passport would suffice to receive treatment.
Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in Argentina
You can assure a safe stay for yourself and your family by buying a private international health insurance plan before traveling to Argentina. Since these plans have global partners, you can receive the cover even when you are traveling to some other country. These plans generally provide cover for a lot of things, which means that you can also expect to receive a wide range of healthcare services from general practitioners as well as specialist doctors. One of the plans you can go for is the Cigna Global international health plan, which has proved to be one of the best in the industry. Other trustable and all-inclusive insurance covers include the Alliance plan (for European expats) and the GeoBlue Xplorer (for United States expats).