Is Peru's health care system accessible to expatriates? What are the relative conditions? Find out in this article.
During your stay in Peru, you will probably have queries regarding the health care system. So in case you need health care, rest assured! Health services are easily available in the country, even to expatriates. But before moving there, make sure to inquire on all relative conditions and requirements. You may have to subscribe to a health insurance before traveling.
The Peruvian health system is divided into two sectors: the public and the private sectors. Hospitals, polyclinics and health care centers operate under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Social Security. As regards the private sector, it involves several health care providers, including medical cabinets, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories.
Fees apply to consultations in public hospitals. As regards health care centers, these provide more comprehensive health care, which greatly reduces the attendance in public hospitals. These offer various types of care and even provide access to private health care centers and clinics through an additional contribution.
Unlike in most countries worldwide, the concept of emergency is quite particular in Peru. Indeed, you are advised to request for emergency health care services only in case of danger (heart attack, hemorrhage, etc).
Quality of health care
Peru provides quality health care services like many Latin American countries. However, it can be quite restricted to Peruvians with low wages as health services provided both by public and private health care centers can be quite expensive. This is why subscribing to a health insurance, besides social security, is compulsory for all workers in Peru.
On the other hand, the best quality health care is provided in major cities. Local drugstores are also very bustling, providing most types of medication available on the international market.
Individuals can choose from two types of social insurances: EsSalud, that is health insurance, and EPS, that is private insurance.
EsSalud is a contributory public insurance. It is compulsory for workers, both in the public and private sectors, for retirees and their minor descendants (less than 18 years old), independent workers and students. It is funded by employers at a rate of 9% of the employee's salary. EsSalud provides coverage in case of dental care, maternity, general and specialized health care, hospitalization fees, laboratory analysis, medication, rehabilitation, prevention and vaccination, etc.
In case EsSalud members (independent workers, students, agricultural workers or taxi drivers) are contributing to the SIS, that is the voluntary insurance, the coverage ceiling will depend on the premium to which you have subscribed.
EPS, for its part, is intended to those who are not affiliated with EsSalud. The choice can be made via a vote within the company whereby all workers are concerned so that equal coverage is provided for everyone, regardless of their salary. However, access to health care services is limited as these can be provided only in health care centers and hospitals which are affiliated with the EPS.
Note, however, that you can voluntarily subscribe with EsSalud in case of breach of contract with EPS.
In Peru, employers are required to take care of all formalities relative to their employees' affiliation to all contributions, including social contributions. Therefore, all new employees have to be registered with the social insurance or EPS, depending on the system chosen by company's whole staff.