Private and public healthcare

The system in Angola

Private and public healthcare

On paper, basic healthcare is freely available to all residents of Angola. Unfortunately, this sounds too good to be true for a Sub-Saharan country. And it is.

Most Angolans, expats and tourists must pay for private treatment, as public healthcare is not easily accessible. The standard in public hospitals and clinics is very low with regards to cleanliness, availability of medication and medical centres, and provision of basic services.

Public healthcare

Public health services are very limited in Angola. It is more than likely that you will end up having to visit a private hospital, if you fall ill whilst in Angola. This is how the locals must also cope. There are very few qualified doctors, and few hospitals or clinics in Angola. Combined with a poor infrastructure, the Angolan Ministry of Health, MINSA, faces a difficult job to improve primary, secondary and tertiary care.

Private healthcare

Private healthcare is expensive in Angola and you will be expected to pay upfront in cash for any treatments in a medical center. For major medical care such as surgery, many expats will either return home or go to South Africa to receive treatment. If you have a medical issue prior to arrival in Angola, it is important to bring the medication with you in the original packaging in case any problem arises.

There are local private hospitals scattered across Luanda, though there are very few located outside of the city.

Angolans will pay $80- $150 USD for basic malaria treatment and $200- $300 USD for a more complex malaria or typhoid fever treatment. The high infant and maternal mortality rates show that hospitals in Angola do not offer the same quality care that you are used to back home.

Most expats will have health insurance from their international employer. It is best to check the medical benefits with them before leaving for Angola.  Until recently, many of the large private companies had their own clinics and hospitals to cater for their employees. Due to the poor conditions of the public healthcare system, it is most likely that you will have to receive private care. There are several adequate private hospitals in Angola that provide adequate care, including some run by expatriates that provide a 24 hour service. Bear in mind, that health centres outside the capital city are extremely limited.   

For more information on private and public healthcare in Angola, visit Expat Health Tips: 

Further reading

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