Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas
Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas
Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas

Guide to Healthcare in Bahamas

5 Expats Talk about Healthcare and Health Insurance in Bahamas

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Apr 13, 2021

Summary: Expats living in Bahamas talk about healthcare, proximity to hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care in Bahamas, availability of prescription medicines and more.

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Expats in Bahamas offer insight into the quality of healthcare in Bahamas, proximity to hospitals, cost of health insurance and more.

What are medical services in Bahamas like?

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

"We have both a general hospital and private hospitals as well as private clinics. The healthcare is adequate. For major health issues many people choose to fly to Florida as well. The cost is comparable but the choice of healthcare is perceived to be greater," commented an expat living in Coral Harbour, Bahamas.

"There are several clinics on the island as well as two large hospitals (one public and one private). We are also very close to Miami should you need a second opinion on something more serious. I personally have used the clinics and private hospital here without any issues. Most of the doctors are trained abroad and are quite competent," said another expat in New Providence.

"Much of what was discussed above. Advise to have coverage to gain access to the private hospital and clinics. Advice is there is treatment available for all ailments. However, should the island get inundated with sickness, it is not set up for mass care. Therefore, dialysis and cancer care may take a hit in service. That said, the environment and makes for comfortable living with common chronic medical conditions," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

"Regardless of coverage, ensure you have the ability to travel to US for any major care needs. There are many private practitioners but only two hospitals. One is for people without insurance (Princess Margaret) and the other is for people with insurance (Doctors Hospital). Ask around in your community for reliable local providers, especially for kids. We found some incredible providers this way for our children," said another expat in Paradise Island.

"As compared to Canada the availability and quality of some health care services is lacking but still adequate. The speed of which they will see you at the clinics and private hospitals is much faster then it is in Canada and for what is missing a quick trip to Florida will provide you with all you need that can not be found in New Providence," remarked another expat in Nassau.

What do you think about the cost of medical care in Bahamas?

"I am enrolled in my company's scheme. Cost is around $2500 a year for family of four. Yes, private health insurance. Accepted almost everywhere and in the US. The company chooses," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

"Before our health insurance kicked in at work our daughter needed stitches. We initially went to PM for treatment but after several hours wait a coworker assisted us to a private provider down the street. The cost at PM to be registered was $150. We lost that. The total cost at the private provider was approx $800 not including meds which were about $150. Work health insurance appears pretty good. We have a moderate copay and are accepted most places...even in united states," said another expat in Paradise Island.

"I have found that the health insurance costs is more related to your health history then where you choose to live. Exclusions in new policies are common if you have a history of certain health problems. I have expat insurance as well as international health care insurance and have found them to be adequate in paying for both emergency situations as well as routine costs. The one problem has always been that I must pay for many services on my own first and then have it reimbursed by the health care provider, this can be hard on the cash flow if you don't have the money put aside for an emergency situation," remarked another expat in Nassau.

What are emergency services like?

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

"Emergency services are mediocre at best. Better to have a system set up to have your own transport to hospital inorder to get there quickly. The island is very small, hospitals are within 20 minutes depending on traffic. Public Hospital: Princess Margaret Private Hospital: Doctors Quality of care is exponentially better at the private hospitals and clinics. Many residents try to avoid PMH at all costs. Ambulance is via the emergency line 919," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

"Both hospitals are on New Providence in the city of Nassau. They are the only two hospitals for the Bahamas. they are fairly close from Paradise Island, maybe 10 minutes. Both Princess Margaret (no insurance) and Doctors (treat people with insurance) are directly across from each other. Emergency services vary depending on your location. Hotels and resorts get a small priority. Personally, I would not rely on them, rather get to the hospital myself. Quality of care is decent at both. Wait times at PM are extremely long. Expect long delays in service and any medical attention. Doctors is fairly smooth but don't expect to be treated without insurance or a ton of cash. PM and Doctors are both public. There are many private providers on the island," said another expat in Paradise Island.

"We live on the west end of the Island which is close to the Lyford Cay Hospital (Private) and the Doctor's Clinic (Private). Both the public hospital and the Doctor's Hospital are in the downtown area and not that far of a drive. I have used all three of the private clinics and hospitals without any problems and have found the care and service to be more then adequate. I have not used the public hospital. All of them are serviced by an ambulance service as well," remarked another expat in Nassau.

Are their specialists in the area or do you need to travel to see a specialist?

"Expats typically travel to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando for specialist care. Any surgeries and most skin care issues. Immediate emergency assistance is done on island. Organ failure and major trauma is usually transported. I don't have the means to travel frequently to receive medical care but anything life threatening, I would travel," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

"Nearest is Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Florida. US care is generally very good and efficient," said another expat in Paradise Island.

"I have no need to leave the island for health services yet. However most people take the short trip to Florida for any services they can not receive on island," remarked another expat in Nassau.

Are most prescription medications available in Bahamas?

"All prescriptions are readily available. Local pharmacies are everywhere. Prescriptions are necessary. Copay covers most expenses. We have had no issues getting prescriptions," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

"All common prescriptions are available. Pharmacies are in most shopping centers. Prescriptions are mandatory for just about anything and very expensive. Before our insurance kicked in at work our daughter needed stitches. The antibiotics and pain killers were about $150 at the local pharmacy. ," said another expat in Paradise Island.

"Most prescriptions are readily available. I have found for those not commonly at the pharmacies that they will order them for you without a problem. I have a reoccurring prescription that they order from England and I have been getting it every month at my local pharmacy without any problem. The cost is generally a little higher then it would be in the USA but my prescription coming from England is actually cheaper then what I paid for it in Canada. Prescriptions are needed for all prescribed medicines but are easily obtained at any of the clinics," remarked another expat in Nassau.

"Two hospitals service all the islands of the Bahamas. Princess Margaret is the free care hospital and waiting times are extremely lengthy. Doctors hospital is where most go if they have insurance or money to pay for an emergency. There are other private care clinics around that take insurance. Unfortunately, emergency services and response are associated with your area. There is a fire and police stations on PI, so we get pretty quick response. It differs in Nassau," commented an expat living in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Do expats and global nomads in Bahamas have access to public healthcare? What is it like?

"Public healthcare system is free at the free hospital. Although, not recommended as expats are used to a different level of service. Expats are typically enrolled in the work related insurance which permits access to the private hospital without shelling out a big ($2000) fee to enter. Very easy to enroll through employers. There is still a cost which seems reasonable. There are also supplemental insurance coverage available. I am at approx @2500 a year for a family of four. Pre-existing conditions vary with agency. Yes, one public hospital. Not recommended. Thus far, we are satisfied with the healthcare for our family. Note, many major and minor treatments are sent to US for administration. Note: there are several specialty clinics located around the island which can service a number of ailments and accept an assortment of coverage," commented an expat living in Nassau, Bahamas.

Expats living in Bahamas interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue. Get a Quote

Expats living in Bahamas interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

International Citizens InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a comparison quotes for some of the biggest expat health insurers from our partner, International Citizens Insurance.
Get Quotes

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Hopetown in Elbow Cay, Bahamas
International Citizens InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a comparison quotes for some of the biggest expat health insurers from our partner, International Citizens Insurance.
Get Quotes

Healthcare in BahamasHealthcare in Bahamas

Expats in The Bahamas share tips and advice about healthcare and health insurance in The Bahamas. Advice about emergency services on smaller islands, flying to Florida for care, ambulance services, prescription medicine and having a baby in the Bahamas.

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Expats living in Bahamas talk about their own experiences with healthcare, hospital visits, emergencies, finding a doctor, buying health insurance in Bahamas and more.

healthcare in NassauHealthcare in Nassau, Bahamas

An expat living in Nassau, Bahamas talks about the quality of healthcare in the Bahamas. He explained that the hospitals and clinics in the Bahamas provide care more quickly than in this home country -

healthcare in Paradise IslandHealthcare in Paradise Island, Bahamas

An expat on Paradise Island talks about the 2 hospitals in the Bahamas, health insurance, the cost and availability of prescription medicines and traveling to Florida for specialized care. -

healthcare surveyAnswer Questions about Healthcare in Bahamas

Help others moving to Bahamas by answering a set of questions about health insurance, public healthcare in Bahamas, prescription medicine, quality of medical care and emergency services.

Having a Baby AbroadHaving a Baby Abroad Report

Being pregnant and giving birth abroad can be a bit unnerving. If you've had a baby abroad, please take a few minutes to answer a few questions about your experiences. Your insight will help to prepare other expat parents-to-be -- and hopefully calm their nerves.

Read Reports from Other Parents about their Childbirth experiences abroad.

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