Health Care in Ecuador

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Excellent Health Care in Ecuador at a Fraction of U.S. Prices

One of the great perks for foreign residents living in Ecuador is high-quality, low-cost health care. Here, you will receive personal attention from medical practitioners not seen in the U.S. since the 1960s. You’ll have access to excellent medical care in Ecuador. In the bigger cities, you’ll find hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as specialists in all fields and physicians with private clinics.

A visit to a general practitioner costs $25 to $30 while a visit to a specialist runs $30 to $40. A psychiatrist will charge $30 to $40 for a half-hour session. Simple, ambulatory procedures are equally inexpensive. For example, the removal of a small lump (under local anesthesia), and a biopsy, costs about $100. Brand name medicines usually cost less than in the U.S. Generics, which are widely available, are also much cheaper.

And don’t be afraid of surgery—many specialists in Ecuador have trained in the U.S. or Europe and have top-notch skills. For example, a shoulder repair for a torn tendon is a two-hour procedure done under general anesthetic. The total bill for the operation, anesthesia, pre- and post-operative care, an overnight stay in the hospital, and all supplies and medications costs just $2,900—about a quarter of what the same procedure costs in the U.S. One of IL’s colleagues underwent this particular procedure and told us that the outcome was excellent, and mentioned that follow-up physical therapy from an experienced therapist with a thriving private practice cost just $20 a visit.

Health insurance is a bargain in Ecuador. A review of comparable insurance policies for a 60-year-old man in the U.S. and Ecuador, tell the story. In the U.S., the man would pay a monthly premium of $1,200; in Ecuador he pays $66. A woman, age 50 to 60, would pay $67 for the same policy in Ecuador while coverage for a dependent child, between 2 and 17 years-of-age, costs $15.69 a month.

The policy cited is offered by Salud, S.A., Latin America’s largest health insurance company and pays 80% of doctor’s visits, 60% of medications costs, and 100% of hospitalization. It also offers extra coverage for walk-in procedures and accidents.For more information about Salud, visit the company’s website here.

*Prices as of 2013

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