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Plaza San Fransisco in Quito, Ecuador

15 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2024

Summary: The quality of medical care in Ecuador is generally considered to be good, although it is not as advanced as the medical care available in the United States. Emergency services are available in Ecuador, and ambulances can be called by dialing 911. In some areas, private ambulance services may also be available.

William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

How are healthcare services Ecuador?

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

"Healthcare services in Ecuador are provided by both public and private institutions. The public healthcare system is managed by the Ministry of Public Health and is available to all Ecuadorian citizens and legal residents. The quality of public healthcare varies depending on the region, but generally it is considered to be of good quality. Foreign residents are able to access the public healthcare system, but they must first register with the Ministry of Public Health. Expats in Ecuador typically use the public healthcare system, as it is often more affordable than private healthcare. However, some expats opt to purchase private health insurance to access private healthcare services," wrote one expat.

"This is the best medical care in terms of caring for you and really identifying the best way to correct the medical issues of people. Doctors really care for their patients, and spend time talking and testing for the real problem and thus coming up with a real solution to your specific issue. And all done at a bargain price," commented one expat who moved to Cuenca.

"Seeing a doctor in Cuenca is an easy matter. No appointment necessary in most cases. Excellent service and good quality for a much lower cost that the U.S," said one expat.

"If you need medical care and have good knowledge of Spanish, the state system IESS may be your choice, however if you are retired they raised the rates to about 17.5% of retirement income. I have cheap (low quality) insurance which reportedly doesn't pay, which is fine for me because I would rather pay 45 per month for insurance that I can't use than 75/mo for insurance I won't use," remarked one expat in Cuenca.

"I let them know about public and private insurance options. This with chronic conditions should enroll in Ecuadorian IESS public system. But even without insurance the medical care in Ecuador is much more affordable than in the US," remarked one expat living in Loja.

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What are medical services in Ecuador like?

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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.

Plaza San Fransisco in Quito, Ecuador

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