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Expat Exchange - Health Care in Salento 2024
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Health Care in Salento

By Betsy Burlingame

Colombian Visa Services
Colombian Visa Services

Summary: Dive into healthcare resources for expats and digital nomads in Salento: identify leading healthcare providers, hospitals, and medical centers for optimal care.

Salento, like the rest of the country, has a healthcare system that is divided into public and private sectors. The quality and accessibility of healthcare can vary, and it is important for both residents and visitors to understand the system and know what options are available to them.

Colombia's Healthcare System

Colombia's healthcare system is divided into two sectors: the public system, known as the General System of Social Security in Health (SGSSS), and the private system. The public system is used by both locals and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads. However, the quality of care in public hospitals can vary, and it is not typically recommended for serious medical emergencies or major surgeries. Public hospitals in Salento are generally well-equipped, but they may not have the same level of resources or specialist care as private hospitals. Expats and digital nomads are allowed to use the public healthcare system, but many choose to use private hospitals due to the higher standard of care. Private hospitals are generally recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgeries, and the experience at a private hospital in Salento is typically more comfortable and efficient than at a public hospital.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Salento

Salento is a small town and does not have a large number of hospitals or clinics. However, there are a few options available:

  • Salento Hospital - a public hospital located in the town center.
  • Armenia Hospital - a larger public hospital located in the nearby city of Armenia, approximately 45 minutes by car from Salento.
  • La Misericordia Hospital - a private hospital also located in Armenia, known for its specialist care.
In the case of serious medical emergencies or the need for specialized care, expats in Salento typically travel to Armenia or even further afield to larger cities like Medellin or Bogota.

Emergency Services in Salento

Emergency services are available in Salento, including ambulance services. To call for an ambulance, you can dial 123. However, response times can vary and there may be delays, particularly in more remote areas of the town. It is always recommended to have a plan in place for medical emergencies, particularly if you are living in or visiting more rural areas.

Health Insurance Companies in Salento

There are several popular private health insurance companies in Salento, including Seguros Bolivar, Colpatria, and Sura. These companies offer a range of plans and coverage options. However, many expats and digital nomads choose to use specialized expat health insurance providers, which can offer more comprehensive coverage and may be more suited to their needs. It is always recommended to thoroughly research and compare options before choosing a health insurance provider.

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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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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