Healthcare in Peru



The Peruvian Health System consists of three providers – The Ministry of Health or MINSA (Ministerio de Salud), the Social Security System or EsSalud (Empresa de Seguros de Salud) and the private sector. The biggest players in the health sector are the Ministry of Health and EsSalud. The main responsibility of the Ministry of Health is to provide services to the poor who cannot make any contributions.

Public Healthcare

Although most facilities are severely under-funded, health services are predominantly provided by the public sector. The health expenditures per capita spending in Peru is comparatively low at USD$201. Peruvian government has invested USD$333 million to improve the health establishments and facilities in the country.

In general, employees who are automatically registered on the payroll is covered by EsSalud. Statutory deductions on the payroll are made by the employer with the employer’s rate of contribution at 9%. All contributions are paid to National Superintendency of Tax Administration or SUNAT (Superintendencia Nacional de Administración Tributaria).


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Private Healthcare

The private sector is small and mostly centered in Lima. Medical facilities in private healthcare is often better staffed and more equipped than public healthcare. More than 15 million in Peru are covered with private health insurance.

Insurance policies are affordable and can start at USD$50.00 per month. Clinics offer policies that are less than USD$50.00 that covers that particular clinic.

In Peru, European clinics are also available where better medical care is available.

Due to some high altitude areas in Peru, one may suffer from hypoxia or lack of oxygen especially those who have cardiac-related problems or high blood pressure. Some also suffer from increased heart rate, headaches, difficulty in sleeping, lack of appetite and intestinal upsets.

There are no vaccination requirements when entering Peru, however if one is going to the jungles areas, yellow vaccinations is required and one should carry their vaccination documents.

Chloroquine-resistant malaria is a serious health problem to those living in the jungle areas of Peru. Living in the big cities (Lima and surrounding areas or in areas above the 1500 meters) is no threat to malaria. As a precaution, when sleeping at night, one can use long sleeves, long trousers, pajamas, mosquito nets and apply insect repellants.

To avoid diarrhea, expats are advised to drink bottled water or one can boil tap water for five minutes or treat it with iodine prior to drinking it. This is to prevent one from diarrhea.

In Peru, abortion is illegal and any woman consenting to abortion will be imprisoned up to two years. The only exception is in cases of threat to life or health of a woman.

Expatriates coming from countries (like Africa) affected by yellow fever are required to have a yellow fever vaccination.

Expats are advised to check or inquire with a physician prior to moving to Peru (ideally, six to eight weeks prior to travel).


In Peru, pharmacies (farmacias or boticas) are common, and one can even get recommendations from pharmacists. In most towns, there is a designated pharmacy on duty for emergencies at night.


In cases of emergency, one can dial 105 to reach ambulance, police and firemen services.


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