Healthcare in Nicaragua

 

 

Healthcare in Nicaragua is still not on par with Western and European standards, but expats can still expect an acceptable standard when it comes to medical facilities and services. The secret to finding the best healthcare in this country is to go to major cities such as Managua, the capital.

Nicaragua’s healthcare system is divided between the private and the public sector. Despite a fragile system, the government strives to extend free medical care to all particularly the low-income families. In fact, healthcare in Nicaragua is one of the most excellent and cheapest in Central America whereas emergency services in public hospitals are free. Many foreign nationals especially those from the United States also travel here for medical tourism purposes. Though the government has made significant developments in the Nicaraguan healthcare system, 40% of the national population which are those living in rural areas still have limited access to proper medical services.

Healthcare Coverage for Expats

Under the amended 1982 law on social security, Nicaragua provides cash and medical benefits to all public and private sector employees, and self-employed individuals. Military personnel, including law enforcers, are excluded from the Sickness and Maternity benefits. The cash benefits are extended to all income-earners while the medical benefits are provided to insured persons and their qualified dependents. Premium contributions are shared between the salaried insured person (2.25% of covered earnings) or the self-employed individual (8.25% of covered earnings), the employer (6% of covered payroll) and the government (0.25%).

To qualify for cash sickness benefits, the insured must have at least eight weeks of contributions in the last 22 weeks. Individuals caring for a sick family member, however, may not receive financial aids. For cash maternity benefits, the insured must have contributed for at least 16 weeks in the 39 weeks before childbirth. The government also subsidises the child’s milk in the first six months.

Workers’ Medical Benefits

The Latin American nation extends additional social security benefits to workers – Workers’ Medical Benefits and Work Injury Benefits. Under the Workers’ Medical Benefits, patients are provided medicine and inpatient care for work-related injuries and occupational diseases. The Work Injury Benefits, on the other hand, are available to all persons receiving remuneration except self-employed individuals. This coverage is financed by the employer (1.5% of covered payroll) and the government, which contributes as an employer. For more information on social security benefits, contact the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security.

Doctors and Hospitals

A huge majority of the physicians in Nicaragua received their degrees in the United States, Europe, Cuba or Mexico. Those who practice in the Managua region are also capable of speaking English, so communication will not be much of an issue. For non-emergency medical care in Nicaragua, patients see GPs or General Practitioners. The typical cost for a single doctor’s visit is USD 20 which needs to be paid in cash. Expats are advised to contact their healthcare insurance providers for a more detailed explanation of their consultation coverage.

Basic medical services are available across the country, but treatments for serious health conditions are only offered in the capital city of Managua. German expats opt for Hospital Alemán-Nicaragüense which employs German-speaking healthcare providers. Other recommended medical facilities for expats in Nicaragua include:

Barrio Largaespada south side of Carlos Fonseca Amador Campus (RUCFA), Nicaragua

Tel: +505 2264 9020

Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 2255 6900

Managua, Nicaragua

Tel: +505 2278 1566

Emergency numbers

In case of emergency, contact the following numbers:

  • Medical emergency: 128
  • Fire department: 115
  • Police: 118

 

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