Learn About Myanmar Healthcare System & Coverage Options for Expats

Pagodas in Myanmar, healthcare system and insurance options for expats

Previously known as Burma, this Southeast Asian country is bordered by Bangladesh, India, Laos, China, and Thailand. Temples and pagodas paint this Buddhist country’s backdrop.  Here’s what you have to know about the Myanmar healthcare system and coverage options for expats.

A majority of the expats living in Myanmar prefer an international medical insurance cover. We strongly recommend that you ensure your insurance covers medical evacuation and gives you access to global medical treatment.

Look for a plan that has provisions to reimburse medical expenses through a broad network of hospitals. Most expats also go for universal life and insurance cover against disability.

Overview of Healthcare in Myanmar

The Government of Myanmar has been promoting foreign investors to invest in cooperative undertakings in hospitals, dispensaries, diagnostic activities, manufacture of medicines, healthcare framework, and medical appliances. Additionally,  it has helped in setting up private medical institutions and training facilities.

The demand for high-standard medical services drives Myanmar’s middle-class and upper-class to grow and invest in quality healthcare. As a result, healthcare expenses in Myanmar shot up from US$279 million in 2012 to US$789 million in 2018. Furthermore, the government is working on rolling out reforms such as the provision of universal healthcare insurance by 2030.

How the Myanmar Healthcare System Works for Expats

Known for its investment opportunities, an increasing number of people and business entities are making a beeline for the country. With that, investing in the quality of health is a critical factor for every expat.

Although healthcare facilities in Myanmar are consistently upgrading, they still have a long way to go to be on par with their neighbor Thailand. A lot of work needs to be done to improve the healthcare system to international standards. Myanmar ranks lowest on the World Health Organization (WHO) healthcare index.

But the situation is gradually improving, particularly in Myanmar’s megacities. Although machines and medicines are not easily accessible, the overall framework leaves a lot to be desired. But, the authorities are working to ensure smooth access to medical aid for everyone in the country.

If you intend to stay and work in Myanmar, health insurance is a fundamental component to add to your checklist. Be sure that you are well vaccinated beforehand to ensure a disease-free stay. Local health insurance is not the answer to all your healthcare issues. Therefore, it is vital to have an international health insurance policy before entering Myanmar.

If you’re thinking about relocating to Myanmar, you must ensure that you have conducted thorough medical research before travel. As we’ve mentioned, health insurance is essential. Therefore, seek an expert’s advice before you set out for this country.

Different people prefer different policies. When choosing insurance, consider factors such as age, health condition, length of stay, and expenses involved.

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Public Healthcare in Myanmar

Both the public and private sectors fund the healthcare system in Myanmar. It ensures the supply of equipment and the availability of staff are on demand. But the critical provider of healthcare services continues to be the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoH). It has the most vital role to play in regulating workforce resources in government sectors. Additionally, the Department of Public Health is primarily accountable for primary healthcare and health-related services.

Private Healthcare in Myanmar

In Myanmar, statistics on public facilities are abundant. Therefore, there is insufficient data on private facilities.

Charity hospitals offer medical services to the poor. Private sectors manage a large number of these hospitals. There are private, not-for-profit clinics that are managed by community-based enterprises and religious corporations. They primarily provide additional out-patient services. Jobs in the private healthcare sector offer higher salaries than its counterpart.

Pharmacies & Emergency Services in Myanmar

If you are in Myanmar and need to find dedicated pharmacies, Yangon City is a one-stop destination for all your pharmaceutical needs.

You will not always find an English-speaking operator on the following emergency helpline numbers in Myanmar. But it’s important to note the different emergency contact.

  • Ambulance: 192
  • Fire: 191
  • Police: 199

Best Private International Medical Insurance for Expats Living in Myanmar

It is advisable to get a health insurance plan that reimburses your medical expenditure. Expats should also obtain global health insurance and disability insurance cover from a reputed insurance company. Cigna offers some of the best comprehensive expat health plans for those moving to Myanmar. Contact us to learn more about your medical options for Myanmar.

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