Healthcare is inconsistent in Peru, with especially few decent facilities available in rural areas. There are public and private healthcare facilities in the country, but expats usually prefer to make use of private healthcare, as public facilities are notoriously inadequate.
Public healthcare in Peru
Public healthcare in Peru is generally poor and insufficient, largely due to a serious lack of funding. Public hospitals are subject to long waiting times, and those with non-urgent health concerns often have to wait months for an appointment.
Basic healthcare is seriously lacking in rural areas, with small under-resourced clinics providing very basic services. It’s unlikely that staff in these facilities will be able to speak English, and any serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to a city with better facilities.
Private healthcare in Peru
Private healthcare facilities are available in Peru, particularly in Lima and Cusco. These institutions are generally better staffed and equipped than public healthcare and are the preferred option for expats living in Peru.
Private healthcare in Peru is generally quite affordable, but doctors will often expect cash payment upfront, regardless of a patient’s medical aid. So when visiting a doctor, it’s important to confirm this ahead of time.
Health insurance in Peru
Public health insurance is available to Peruvian nationals through two systems, Segura Integral de Salud (SIS) and EsSalud. SIS is regulated by the Peruvian Ministry of Health and is largely aimed at those who are poverty-stricken and have no health coverage. EsSalud is aimed at the working population and their families, providing healthcare within a specific network of medical facilities.
For easy access to the private system, it’s important for expats to ensure that they have some form of private health insurance. For those moving to Peru as part of a corporate relocation package, this should be considered when negotiating a contract.
Pharmacies in Peru
Pharmacies are plentiful in Peruvian cities and many are open 24/7. Some of the larger supermarkets, such as Santa Isabel, also have pharmacies, and most medications are easily available over the counter.
Health hazards in Peru
Altitude sickness is common for visitors to Peru and it’s best to take the necessary precautions. Symptoms include headache, nausea, lethargy and dizziness. Expats experiencing any of these symptoms should visit a healthcare professional.
There is some risk of malaria in rural areas of Peru, particularly in the jungle areas east of the Andes Mountains. Expats visiting these areas should ensure that they take the advised precautions.
Emergency services in Peru
Emergency services are seriously lacking in rural areas, but are available in the larger cities. For an ambulance, expats can dial 117.
Hospitals in Lima
Clinica Anglo Americana
Address: Av. Emilio Cavenecia 250, San Isidro 15073
Clinica San Borja
Address: Av. Guardia Civil 337, San Borja 15036
Clinica el Golf
Address: Av. Aurelio Miró Quesada 1030, San Isidro 15073