Health Tips When Moving to Argentina



As an expatriate who is moving to Argentina you would do well to remember that the smaller the city you choose to live in, the harder it will be for you to get access to quality health care.

Healthcare in Argentina

The health care system is Argentina is comprised of three main providers:

The Public Sector: Public hospitals offer basic facilities and are manned by well trained staff. They offer free clinical care to patients and outpatients with a charge for medicines in case of outpatients. 

Mutuals or social plans are administered by trade unions to which both the employer and employee contribute.

The private sector: where patients meet total expenditure for healthcare themselves. Most private hospitals and well equipped and the larger ones, like the British Hospitals, offer their own health plans to which patients can subscribe and avail of discounts, flexible payment options and so on.  

Expatriates seeking medical treatment in the country can apply for a 1-year multiple-entry medical visa at the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones. Minors, disabled persons or individuals who cannot travel on account of poor health and reside alone can apply for a visa for direct family or through legal representatives of caregivers. Complete details of the patient's medical record and information in Argentina will be required. If treatment is sought at a public hospital a statement has to be signed by the director of the hospital. If treatment is sought at a private clinic or doctor, the statement has to be legalized by the Health Department. 


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Hospitals & Clinics

Hospitals and clinics are greater in number in Buenos Aires than in other parts of Argentina, such as in the Andean North West. The quality of hospitals and clinics declines in smaller and more remote areas. Argentina has both private and public hospitals. As a foreigner you will have access to both. Private hospitals are very well equipped while public hospitals are more basic; however you can be assured of the services of quality staff. If your insurance does not cover treatment you will have to pay your bills either leaving the hospital or within a month.

Treatment for serious medical problems that require hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to your country of origin could cost thousands of dollars. Private hospitals, clinics and physicians usually expect immediate cash payment for their services. A visit to a specialist costs anything between 17 USD and 50 USD. 

Medicines & Pharmacies

Most pharmaceutical drugs can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. However generic drugs can be purchased only on doctor's prescription. Pharmacists are permitted to recommend remedies for common ailments like headache, cold, influenza, stomach problems, etc. Pharmacies in major cities remain open round the clock.

The cost of medication varies depending on whether you have insurance or not. Check with your insurance provider if you have international insurance from your home country to see what costs are covered. If you are enrolled in Obras Sociales, Argentina's Social Health Plan, 70% of the costs of medicines for chronic diseases and 100% costs for medication for contraception, diabetes, oncology, leprosy and tuberculosis are covered. 


Several hospitals in Argentina are manned by English speaking staff, particularly in Buenos Aires where the Hospital Británico (private hospital) and the Hospital de Niños Dr Ricardo Gutiérrez (public hospital) are most likely to have English speaking doctors and nurses. Doctors in Argentina are known for their expertise in cosmetic surgery and perform correction of nose, lips, ears, eyelids, face lifting and breast remodelling. High quality hospitals and clinics are found all over the country and are registered with the Argentinean Society of Estetic and Reconstructive Surgery, La Sociedad Argentina de Cirurgia Estética y Reparadora. To choose doctors ask for your friends and colleagues for suggestions first.  

Emergency Contact Numbers

The General Emergency Number for an ambulance is 107. 

Health Risks

Common health risks in the country include: Leishmaniasis (both cutaneous and mucocutaneous) which is endemic in northern Argentina and Coccidiodomycosis is found in focal areas of Argentina. Sporadic cases of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (Andes virus; rodent reservoir host), dengue and malaria have also been noted.