Chile’s healthcare system is composed of both public and private healthcare options. The public healthcare system is called FONASA and is funded by the government. It is available to all citizens and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads, and is used by many people. Public hospitals are generally recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgery, although the quality of care can vary. Private hospitals are typically more expensive but offer higher quality care and more modern facilities.
Chile’s Public Healthcare System
Chile’s public healthcare system, FONASA, is funded by the government and is available to all citizens and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads. It is used by many people and is generally recommended for serious medical emergencies and major surgery. Public hospitals in Chile are generally well-equipped and staffed, although the quality of care can vary.
Chile’s Private Healthcare System
Chile’s private healthcare system is composed of private hospitals and clinics that offer higher quality care and more modern facilities than public hospitals. Private healthcare is typically more expensive than public healthcare, but many expats and digital nomads prefer to use private hospitals for serious medical emergencies and major surgery.
Chile’s Top Hospitals
Some of the most well-known hospitals in Chile include:
- Clínica Las Condes (private hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile (public hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital San José (private hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital Barros Luco Trudeau (public hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital San Borja Arriarán (public hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital del Salvador (private hospital in Santiago)
- Hospital Clínico de la Universidad de Concepción (public hospital in Concepción)
- Hospital Clínico de la Universidad Católica de Chile (private hospital in Santiago)
Health Insurance Companies in Chile
The most popular private health insurers in Chile are Isapre, Fonasa, and Banmedica. Expats and digital nomads typically use these companies or specialized expat health insurance providers.
Insider Tips from Expats in Chile: How to Navigate the Health System
“Public healthcare costs 7% of your monthly income for expats residing here. It covers everything including dental and vision. Services are free unless you see a private specialist and then you have a copay that is about 9 dollars to 20 dollars. Doctors visits are thorough and not rushed, anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Doctors go to National Universities that are free and only the best graduate so they are the best. Does not depend on how rich your family is, how well connected they are or how well they play football. Medications are delivered to our front door and are free. Ambulances are free, physical therapists come for free, it just prooves that National healthcare not for profit can be afforded by this third world country,” commented one expat living in Pucon, Chile.
“Mostly free meds and delivered to our doorstep. The municipal health center is also free and has excelent emergency service, free ambulance service, regular health screenings for seniors,” mentioned one expat living in Chile.
“The main problem with Chile, is that it has followed the USA example, as a neo-liberal policy brought in by Pinochet/Friedman of “privatising” most State activities, including Health Care, Social Services, Pensions, Water management, Education, etc, etc. SO………the owners of these businesses are more interested in making profits, at the “poor man’s” expense, and the State does little to stop this. So there is great social inequality in Chile, with the “ruling elite” naturally wanting to maintain their advantage. As in UK, with national schooling, NHS, State Social support, etc, the State provides good standards as “safety nets” for the mass population. The Skandinavian countries offer even better examples of State social responsibility, but of course their tax regimes to support this are even higher than in the UK. In Chile, whilst the economy could afford higher taxing (private and corporate taxes) to support widespread social improvements, there is not the WILL by the “Old Guard”, who wish to retain their exclusivity,” said an expat in Chile.
“Chile has a well-developed healthcare system that provides a wide range of medical services. The public health system is free for all citizens and permanent residents, while private health insurance is available for those who wish to access more specialized care. The country has a network of public hospitals and clinics, as well as a number of private medical centers. Chile also has a number of specialized medical centers, such as those for cancer treatment, mental health, and geriatrics. In addition, there are a number of medical research centers and universities that offer medical degrees and training,” remarked one member living in Chile.