Healthcare in the Maldives: insurance for tourists and all about the medicine on the islands



Healthcare in the Maldives: insurance for tourists and all about the medicine on the islands

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are famous for their pristine beaches, warm climate and white sands. The islands have become a popular destination for tourists and workers from all over the world. However, before coming to this country, it is important to learn about the healthcare system so that you do not encounter any unexpected problems. Continue reading the article to learn about the public and private medical sector, emergency care and the healthcare system for expats in the Maldives.

Key points about the healthcare system

Over the past three decades, the Maldivian healthcare system has undergone remarkable changes. One of the significant improvements has been the huge investment in infrastructure. The Maldives has a 'tier' healthcare system. Every inhabited island, even the least populated, has a facility for primary health care. Each inhabited atoll or chain of islands has a secondary care centre. There are also tertiary care centres in large agglomerations. Currently, the public and private sectors jointly provide medical services throughout the Republic of Maldives. Private or international health insurance, which is cost-effective and includes transport services, for example, air evacuation to neighbouring countries, is also a popular choice among expatriates.

State medical sector

The public health sector operates centrally with a 5-tier hierarchical system of services:





island level services.

Patients do not have to follow this hierarchical structure and can access health services at any time. However, the shortage of skilled medical workers remains a major problem in the Maldives. Some health facilities do not have the necessary medical equipment. The government is trying to improve health service delivery and make the necessary equipment available in all facilities.

Private sector

The private healthcare sector in the Maldives has grown significantly in recent years. There are now more than 50 hospitals across the country. Expatriates prefer private facilities because they have some of the best doctors in the country, better medical equipment, convenience and speed of service. Private clinics also offer a variety of services such as hospital treatment, traditional medicine and other alternative forms of medicine. These clinics usually have one doctor in the laboratories to perform simple tests and examinations.

Emergency services 

There is no emergency medical care in the Maldives. Instead, you can contact the Coast Guard on 191 for emergencies at sea. If you have a serious medical problem, you can go to a separate hospital for emergency treatment.

Private and international health insurance 

All islanders are entitled to $6500 of annual government-sponsored health insurance. The same applies to foreigners who legally work in the country. Employers must pay an upfront fee to apply for health insurance for their foreign workers.

The insurance covers emergency hospitalisation, medical treatment, emergency evacuation, inpatient and outpatient services, prescription drugs, diagnostics and treatment abroad in special cases (however, this option is reserved for those who earn high wages in the country).

Although the working population in the Maldives has access to free healthcare, we recommend taking out private health insurance. Several insurance companies offer different insurance options to choose from. Consult a specialist to find the right policy for your needs and budget.

More articles on the topic:

Travel guide to the Maldives for 2023-2024: Destinations, best time and guide.

How to plan the perfect vacation in the Maldives: tips for travelers.