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Mendoza, Argentina

15 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Argentina

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 15, 2023

Summary: The quality of medical care in Argentina is generally considered to be good, although it is not as advanced as the medical care available in the United States. Emergency services are generally reliable and ambulances can be called by dialing 107.

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How are healthcare services Argentina?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Argentina, they replied:

"Healthcare services in Argentina vary greatly from region to region, but generally, it is considered to be of a high quality compared to that of many other Latin American countries. Generally, banks and insurance companies in Argentina provide services for those who seek private healthcare. The public healthcare system in Argentina is complex and is divided into two main sectors: the public sector and the private sector. The public sector, also known as the Seguro Social system, is made up of health care centers, hospitals, and ambulatory services that are funded by the government. This system offers basic health services that are considered of good quality care. All Argentine citizens and foreign residents have access to this public healthcare system. Expats in Argentina often use the public healthcare system, as it is generally much cheaper than private care. It is important to note, however, that the quality of care provided by the public system can vary significantly depending on the region," said one expat.

"As a newcomer, one of the first things you should do is buy international heath insurance that can be used at any private facility in the country. They are options for private insurance that can be bought from an individual private hospital but then if they do not have the equipment needed you will have to pay out of pocket to go to another facility. So with an international health policy you can be treated anywhere you choose. This is the type of policy I have. It also covers me anywhere else in the world and I have chosen to have the US option as well. The insurance is affordable and COMPREHENSIVE. If you have a medical condition, bring your doctors notes and copies of your prescriptions," remarked one expat in Buenos Aires.

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What are medical services in Argentina like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Argentina, they replied:

"Argentina has a high standard of healthcare and is known for its excellent medical professionals and healthcare services. Hospital care is provided by both public and private hospitals, with both types of hospitals providing a range of services from family medicine to specialized services such as cancer treatments and cardiology. The government health services are free for the public, for those wishing to have private care, fees are significantly lower than other countries around the world. Argentina also has a significant number of ambulances, offering 24-hr service to hospital emergency departments, often providing expert care during the journey. The country also has a number of excellent training centers, allowing medical professionals to receive the latest education and training in the field," said one expat.

"Q19 I have no way of making a comparison In the UK the NHS costs nothing at the point of delivery," remarked one expat in Buenos Aires .

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Argentina?

"Healthcare and health insurance in Argentina can be expensive, particularly for expensive medicines and treatments that require specialists. Prices for basic services, such as doctor's appointments and laboratory tests, are generally affordable. Those with private health insurance are likely to pay higher prices for services than those without it as there are often additional fees and co-pays. Public health insurance, while available to some, will most likely provide less coverage than private insurance. Additionally, some people might find that costs can vary widely depending on the location of their healthcare practitioner," remarked one expat in Argentina.

"We have had wonderful experience with the private healthcare in Buenos Aires. My husband had a tumor and was seen right away - within hours. We have international health insurance which means we can choose to go to ANY PRIVATE HOSPITAL WE CHOOSE. The coverage is very comprehensive and affordable for us. If you need info, please contact me," remarked one expat living in Buenos Aires.

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What are emergency services like in Argentina?

When we asked about emergency services, members in Argentina wrote:

"Have had good experiences with Clinica de Cuyo in downtown. There are lots of hospitals but I have no experience with them. Had experience with private doctors who inspired total confidence, even though they do not have all their records automated and in many cases, simply took notes on a little pad with a pencil. I find it impossible to give overall ratings such as that requested above--"same," "better, etc" so disregard what I put above," said one expat living in Mendoza.

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The insurance that travels with you. Now Health International's insurance plans offer you access to world-class healthcare facilities and treatment wherever and whenever you need it. With digital services, 24x7 customer support in different languages, and award-winning service, Now Health International will look after you no matter where you choose to go. Get a Quote from Now Health International.

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Will I need to travel to see a specialist?

"The cities of Buenos Aires and Córdoba are widely regarded as having among the best selection of medical specialists in Argentina due to the availability of highly trained and experienced doctors and world-class hospitals. In addition, the provinces of Mendoza, Tucumán, and Santa Fe also have strong offerings of excellent medical care and specialists," said one expat living in Argentina.

"Most people do not return to the US because the distance is very far. The care within Argentina at the private facilities usually is the best option. Another interesting bit of info...many people travel here for cosmetic surgeries," mentioned one expat in Buenos Aires.

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Are common prescription medications available in Argentina?

"Most items are not prescription so it makes getting med pretty easy. Only controlled substances require prescriptions. There are many pharmacies to choose from and you will find a substantial saving from the US. There are also many generic options to choose from," said an expat in Buenos Aires.

"Common Rx may not be available all the time. The government restricts imports severely, and there are times when certain prescriptions are simply not in the pharmacies. This has happened repeatedly and affects, for example, heart and cancer medications. Cost is about the same as in the U.S. I know an Argentine cancer patient who at one point had to go all over town to numerous pharmacies in search of a medication and could not get it for weeks," commented one expat living in Mendoza, Argentina.

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Do you have anything more to add about local medical facilities in Argentina?

"Overall, medical facilities in Argentina are modern and provide quality care. Doctors specialize in a variety of areas, and are well-trained in evidence-based practices. The country has a well-developed public health system and access to health services are generally easy to come by, as most major cities have a plethora of hospitals and clinics. The quality of care at these facilities is generally good, though there may be some gaps in service in rural areas," said an expat in Argentina.

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As a foreigner living in Argentina, will I have access to public healthcare? What is it like?

"Yes, foreign nationals living in Argentina are eligible for access to public healthcare. The public healthcare system in Argentina is known to be of good quality and is generally affordable for those who use it. Most medical services are provided in public hospitals and subsidized health centers, usually located in the major cities and towns. Treatment is usually free or subsidized for those who cannot afford to pay for the services. Health plans and supplementary health insurance can also be purchased in order to cover any additional services or treatments," said one expat living in Argentina.

"As an expat, if you have residency you can enroll in the public heathcare system, but honestly most expats insist on using the private healthcare system. Enrolling the public healthcare is affordable but the quality of the facilities and services is not what most expats would consider. Private hospitals are usually the option that expats take as they are better equipped, and the doctors tend to have more credentials and often times are fluent in English. Pre-existing conditions in general are not covered but this is determined on a case-by-case basis," mentioned one expat in Buenos Aires.

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What have your experiences during the pandemic with the local healthcare system been like?

We asked expats in Argentina if they have access to public healthcare in Argentina. And, if they do have access, what is it like. They wrote...

"Navigating the healthcare system in Argentina during the pandemic has been difficult as the hospitals have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. Many people have faced long wait times when trying to schedule appointments or get a test result. Many patients have faced inadequate care due to the lack of personal protective equipment and staff shortages. Additionally, some have had difficulty accessing care due to the limited availability of healthcare services. The government has done its best to try and address the issues, but the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt," remarked one expat in Argentina.

"My step-daughter is a hospital doctor in the city and anecdotal evidence is that they are dealing with the emergency much better than many of the countries expats have come from," remarked one expat living in Buenos Aires .

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What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Argentina?

We asked expat moms who gave birth in Argentina about their experiences and advice they have for other moms to be. They said:

"It is important to research the healthcare system in Argentina before having a baby. Make sure to find a doctor or midwife that you trust and that speaks your language. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations regarding childbirth and parenting. Additionally, it is a good idea to build a support network of other expats who have had babies in Argentina, as they can provide valuable advice and support. Finally, make sure to take time to relax and enjoy the experience of having a baby in Argentina," remarked one expat in Argentina.

"Make sure you get your private insurance as soon as possible. I would recommend purchasing the best coverage you can afford so that you have full coverage, as well as no deductibles or copays. Medicus and OSDE are two excellent choices," explained one expat living in Buenos Aires.

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Are healthcare services good in Argentina?

We asked people if they have access to good medical care in Argentina. They wrote:

"Healthcare services in Argentina are generally of a high quality. The country has a universal healthcare system, which is funded by the government and provides free healthcare to all citizens. The public healthcare system is supplemented by a number of private healthcare providers, which offer more specialized services. Argentina also has a number of specialized hospitals and clinics that provide specialized care for specific conditions. In addition, Argentina has a number of health insurance companies that offer coverage for medical expenses," wrote a person living in Argentina.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Mendoza, Argentina

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