Colombian health system

What expats should expect

Colombian health system

Colombia's greatly reformed healthcare system now provides citizens with a better quality of healthcare. However, for reliability and efficiency, coupled with a wave of skilled workers moving to the private sector, more and more Colombians are opting for private health care.

Colombia underwent a major transformation of its health care system, after reforms in 1993.

In 1993, Law 100 introduced private insurers in regulated competition. Employees could purchase a private health plan through their salary payments. Unemployed people, the very poor or those in irregular employment are still publicly funded. Previous to this, health care was provided through a single public insurer.

The National Health Service in Colombia is split into two separate parts, those who receive government subsidised healthcare and those who pay for their own healthcare. Colombia also boasts an efficient private healthcare system. However problems are arising due to a drought of skilled workers in the public sector.

An increasing number of people are taking Colombia’s health care system to court due to lengthy delays in relation to treatment and diagnosis. Expats looking for reliable, efficient health care will need to consider the private healthcare system and insurance policies.

Diseases such as HIV and hepatitis A are prevalent in Colombia, as well as waterborne diseases such as typhoid. Routine travel vaccinations are recommended for people visiting Colombia and expats will need to check their immunisation records to ensure they are up to date.

When moving abroad with an employer it is highly likely that a corporate health care plan will be put in place. If you are moving independently, expats are advised to consider purchasing private insurance to top-up the services available on the public system.

You can get to know more about what to expect health-wise when abroad in Colombia at Expat Health Tips: 

Further reading

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