Healthcare in Houston



Houston is home to the largest medical complex in the world, the Texas Medical Centre (TMC), a state-of-the-art medical facility that provides first rate medical treatments and care.

It is the center of healthcare in Houston, and TMC specializes in medical research, which boasts a total of 47 medicine-related institutions (which includes 13 hospitals, 19 academic institutions and 15 support services organizations).  

Other outstanding hospitals in Houston include Methodist Hospital, Memorial Herman Hospital, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, Christus St. John Hospital, Bayshore Medical Center, Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, the Conroe Regional Medical Center, East Houston Regional Medical Center, Kingwood Medical Center, and the Mainland Medical Center.  

With its competitive healthcare market, Houston inevitably developed into a medical tourism destination. Although Texas has the most expensive healthcare in the US, more than 14,600 patients came to the centre to seek treatment at TMC in 2008. Patients go out of their way to the city of Houston to seek medical treatment for cancer and heart care, organ transplant, terminal illness, mental health, and wellness. Cosmetic surgery, fertility clinics, and dental clinics are also popular medical treatments. 

Visiting a doctor can cost approximately USD$70-$100 while a visit to an emergency room is around USD$1,000.00. Hospital cost for inpatient can range from USD$5,000-$10,000 per day.  

To avoid the high cost of hospital bills, some working expats get health insurance provided by the employer's insurance premium, which will be deducted directly from the employee's monthly salary. However, if this is not provided, low-income legal immigrants may qualify for Medicaid. For more information, visit the Texas Health and Human Services Commission office in Houston. 

Immigrants who are not eligible for Medicaid can get inexpensive insurance for children under 19 years old through "Children's Health Insurance Program" or CHIP. Premiums will cover all the children in the family at approximately USD$15-$18 monthly. 

Harris County Hospital District hospitals offer a reduced price health services for very low-income residents regardless of the immigration status. A "gold card" or a discounted card is provided for eligible residents. 

Although medical insurance can be arranged by an employer, expats are advised to check the scope of the policy. It is recommended to have a reputable provider of international health insurance that is tailored to meet the needs of one's health.  


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Pharmacies are often open 24 hours a day; some even offer drive-thru services. Most drugstores like Consumer Value Stores (CVS) and Walgreens are located in at the pharmacy section of supermarkets like Wal-Mart. Prescriptions are needed to buy antibiotics and strong medicines. Medicines for headache, colds, allergies, and upset stomach are over the counter drugs.  


For emergency assistance, expats can call 911 for an ambulance, fire, and police assistance. Air ambulance services are also available.  

Health is wealth in the city of Houston with its excellent medical care and facilities.



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