Anybody that is moving overseas should always thoroughly research healthcare and the standards of treatment in their new country. Arming yourself with this knowledge will help to alleviate any nerves you may have and also ensure that you have adequate protection if you were to encounter any medical issues abroad. I speak to many people relocating to St Lucia about healthcare and life on the island; this is the information that I believe you need to know in advance. |
St Lucian Healthcare
The standard of care on the island is good and there are two well-equipped hospitals here. Victoria Hospital is the main Government hospital and, although able to cope with many treatments, it is not free to non-nationals. This is also the case for Tapion, the private hospital. It is important to note that serious cases may require emergency evacuation, where you will be airlifted (usually to USA or Martinique) to be treated. This will clearly be extremely expensive, so comprehensive health insurance is an absolute must.
Threats on the Island
Generally speaking, St Lucia is a safe place to live and you should not have any major concerns whilst here. However, there are a few threats which are important to be aware of. Chikungunya and Zika virus cases have been confirmed in the last three months, whilst Dengue fever is endemic to the Caribbean. The National Travel Health Network and Centre can provide advice on staying safe.
Hurricane season runs from June to November, so be sure to monitor local weather during this period. Earthquakes are a small threat and tremors are occasionally felt throughout the Caribbean. The local authorities will direct you in case of an earthquake, but simple research online will help you to stay safe.
If you encounter any kind of emergency, dial 911. Be sure to contact your insurance provider if you are referred to a medical facility and also ask about pre-payment for private facilities.
For those relocating to St Lucia from the UK, it may be a shock to the system coming to a country where there are costs involved in visiting the doctor. It is crucial that the consequences are not ignored, and you instead get the protection that you need with adequate healthcare insurance. My recommendation would be to arrange this prior to moving. This will give you peace of mind and also ensure that if something were to happen, the costs will be covered.
Whenever I speak to people moving here, I always urge them to visit their doctor at least 4 weeks before the big move. During this appointment, you can get a thorough health assessment, get any necessary vaccinations and ask for advice on staying fit and healthy. This is worthwhile as it will alleviate any concerns, flag any issues and both mentally and physically prepare you for moving overseas.
It is essential that anybody relocating to St Lucia understands healthcare on the island and what to expect. This information should give you a general overview and encourage you to take out a comprehensive insurance policy, but feel free to give me a call today and we can further discuss the matter.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. His indepth local knowledge and wealth of experience regarding property in St Lucia are key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings. For anyone considering relocating to St Lucia, The Landings is one of most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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