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Expat Exchange - Health Care in Utila 2024
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Health Care in Utila

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Learn about the health system in Utila: how it can and cannot be used by expats, nomads, retirees and others moving to and living in Utila.

Health Care in Utila - Health Care in Utila

The healthcare system in Utila is a mix of public and private services. The public healthcare system is run by the Honduran government, while the private sector consists of a variety of clinics and hospitals.

Honduras's Healthcare System

The public healthcare system in Honduras is known as the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS). It is primarily used by Honduran citizens, but foreigners are also allowed to use it. However, the public healthcare system in Utila is not recommended for serious medical emergencies or major surgeries due to limited resources and facilities. Public hospitals in Utila are typically crowded and may lack the necessary equipment for complex medical procedures. On the other hand, private hospitals are often used by expats and digital nomads. These facilities are generally better equipped and staffed, making them a more reliable choice for serious medical emergencies and major surgeries. Private hospitals in Utila offer a higher standard of care compared to public hospitals.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Utila

Utila is a small island and does not have a large number of hospitals. However, there are a few clinics that are recommended for expats:

  • Utila Medical Centre - a private clinic located in the heart of Utila.
  • Public Health Center Utila - a public health center providing basic medical services.
For serious medical emergencies and surgeries, expats in Utila typically travel to the mainland. The closest major hospital is the Cemesa Hospital in Roatan, which is approximately a two-hour ferry ride from Utila.

Emergency Services in Utila

Emergency services in Utila are limited. There is no dedicated ambulance service on the island. In case of an emergency, residents and visitors are advised to call the local police, who can assist in arranging transportation to a medical facility. However, response times can vary and there may be delays.

Health Insurance Companies in Utila

There are several private health insurance companies that operate in Utila. These include Seguros Atlantida and Seguros Del País. These companies offer a range of health insurance plans that cover various medical services. However, many expats and digital nomads choose to use specialized expat health insurance providers, which offer coverage that is more suited to their needs. These providers typically offer international health insurance plans that cover medical treatment in multiple countries, making them a popular choice for those who travel frequently.

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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William Russell
William Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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