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Expat Exchange - How to Navigate the Health System in Peru
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How to Navigate the Health System in Peru

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Gain insight into the health care system in Peru. Explore its accessibility and limitations for expatriates, remote workers, retirees, and others who choose to live in Peru.

Peru's healthcare system is composed of both public and private healthcare options. The public healthcare system is called Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS) and is funded by the government. It is free for Peruvian citizens and foreigners who are legally registered in the country. Expats and digital nomads are allowed to use the public healthcare system, however, it is not commonly used by foreigners. Public hospitals are generally not recommended for serious medical emergencies or major surgery, as they are often overcrowded and lack the necessary resources.

Peru's Public Healthcare System

The public healthcare system in Peru is called Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS). It is funded by the government and is free for Peruvian citizens and foreigners who are legally registered in the country. Expats and digital nomads are allowed to use the public healthcare system, however, it is not commonly used by foreigners. Public hospitals are generally not recommended for serious medical emergencies or major surgery, as they are often overcrowded and lack the necessary resources.

Peru's Private Healthcare System

Peru also has a private healthcare system, which is used by expats and digital nomads. Private hospitals are generally better equipped and offer higher quality care than public hospitals. Private hospitals are recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgery, as they are better equipped and offer higher quality care. Private healthcare is more expensive than public healthcare, but it is still relatively affordable compared to other countries.

Peru's Top Hospitals

Peru has several well-known hospitals, both public and private. Some of the most well-known hospitals include:

  • Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza (public, Lima)
  • Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia (public, Lima)
  • Hospital Edgardo Rebagliati Martins (public, Lima)
  • Clinica Anglo Americana (private, Lima)
  • Clinica San Borja (private, Lima)
  • Clinica Ricardo Palma (private, Lima)
  • Clinica San Felipe (private, Arequipa)

Health Insurance Companies in Peru

The most popular private health insurers in Peru are Rimac Seguros, Pacifico Seguros, and Mapfre Peru. Expats and digital nomads typically use these companies, although some may opt for specialized expat health insurance providers.

Insider Tips from Expats in Peru: How to Navigate the Health System

"The availability of medications is very dependent on what it is. Until COVID an expat friend had an insulin pump she was able to get what she needed to ensure its proper functioning. I was able to get any meds the local doctor prescribed, but not one my US doctor had. Our insurance let me buy a year's worth at a time to compensate for that," commented one expat living in Arequipa, Peru.

"Peru has a public health system that provides basic medical services to its citizens. Private health care is also available, and many people opt for this option due to the higher quality of care. The country has a number of hospitals and clinics that offer a range of services, including general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and dentistry. In addition, Peru has a number of specialized medical centers that provide specialized care in areas such as cardiology, oncology, and neurology," mentioned one expat living in Peru.

"Healthcare services in Peru are provided by both public and private institutions. The public healthcare system is funded by the government and is available to all citizens and legal residents. The quality of public healthcare varies depending on the region, but generally it is considered to be of a lower standard than private healthcare. Foreign residents are able to access the public healthcare system, but they may need to pay for some services. Expats in Peru generally use the public healthcare system, as it is more affordable than private healthcare. However, some expats opt to purchase private health insurance to access higher quality care," commented one member living in Peru.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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