El Salvador Health Insurance
El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It is also the only country in Central America that does not have a coastline on the Caribbean side. While small in size, El Salvador has had a long and complicated history. The country was explored during the Spanish expeditions in the 1520s, until a permanent capital was established in 1545. A combination of factors led to Central America’s independence from Spain on September 15, 1821, with the United Provinces of Central America being formed in 1823. When this union was dissolved in 1839, El Salvador finally became an independent republic. Throughout revolutions and coups of the state government in the 19th century, the growing coffee profits began to be concentrated within the hands of an oligarchy of the wealthiest families. The 20th century saw the price of coffee fluctuate greatly. Eventually this led to uprisings by the poor laboring classes, which led to a military coup that saw the country fall under oligarchy supported military rule for decades. The growing disillusionment of lower income groups, and increasing cry for a new social and political order led to the Salvadoran Civil War from 1980 to 1992.
While peace was restored the country has continued to struggle with social advancements and a high, gang related crime rate. That said, El Salvador has improved economically, through free trade, economic liberalization and privatization which has allowed for rapid growth in infrastructure and outside investment. The country enjoys one of the freest economies in the region, and also boasts an ever expanding tourism industry, with more visitors arriving to El Salvador now than ever before. With its beautiful and varying landscapes and scenery all found within a small area, from Volcanoes to the highlands, to the famous black sand beaches on the coast, El Salvador is becoming one of the new exciting destinations for travel and enterprise.
El Salvador Health Information
The healthcare system in El Salvador is divided. The country suffers from a similar situation as that of other developing nations, where one side of the healthcare system, the private side, uses state-of-the-art technology, qualified doctors and physicians who spend ample time with patients, while the second, government sponsored side, suffers from poor healthcare services and generally understaffed, underfunded and ill-equipped medical practitioners and medical facilities serving the bulk of the lower income population. That being said, El Salvador’s Health standards have improved greatly since the 1930. The average life expectancy is averaging 72.33 years, while the infant mortality rate, 139.4 per 1,000 live births in 1930 to 1934, declined to 21.52 by 2009. The death rate which was at 23 per 1,000 from 1930 through 1934 fell to an estimated 5.47 deaths as of 2009 as well. The fertility rate also experienced a drop, from 5.3 in 1980 to 3 children born per woman in 2009. Malnutrition persisted in an estimated 23% of children under five as of 2000. However, immunization rates for children up to one year of age were quite high in 1997, with the breakdown for immunizations as follows: tuberculosis, 93%, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 97%, polio, 96%, and measles, 97%. The contraceptive prevalence for women was 60% as of 2000. In 1999, El Salvador had 7,298 physicians, or 1.1 per 1,000 people. In the same year, there were an estimated 1.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare coordinates mobile healthcare contingents, professional medical delegations from overseas, field offices, clinics, laboratories, and dispensaries. UNICEF, the US Institute of Inter-American Affairs, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other foreign institutions have provided assistance in recent health campaigns. As of 2006, the total healthcare expenditure was estimated at 7.0% of GDP, or $378 per capita.
The principal causes of death in El Salvador are gastroenteritis, influenza, malaria, measles, pneumonia, and bronchitis which is caused or complicated by malnutrition, poor sanitation, and inferior housing. These are all real issues for the 30% of the population that still lives under the poverty line. In 1994, major causes of death were noted as communicable diseases and maternal/prenatal causes (202 per 100,000), non-communicable diseases (385 per 100,000), and injuries (201 per 100,000). In 2000, 74% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 83% had adequate sanitation. In 1999, there were 67 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. There were 1,416 new cases of AIDS reported in 1996 and 2,798 cases of malaria in 1994. As of 2007, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 35,000 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 1,700. HIV prevalence was 0.8 per 100 adults. Unfortunately, much of the progress since the 1930s was undermined by the country's civil war, which overtaxed health care facilities while, in real terms, expenditures on health care declined. The National Medical School was shut down in 1980, and more programs that benefited lower income groups were also eliminated. It is up to the current administration, and the legislative assembly, with the support of international organizations and a greater public awareness that will ultimately create a balanced and effective healthcare system for all Salvadorans.
The foreign visitor and expatriate coming to El Salvador should be aware of the medical conditions in the country, and the way to handle their stay in terms of medical care. Most private facilities in El Salvador will be able to provide higher standards of medical care for you. This is not the case outside of the capital however, as most outside medical services will be basic and will not be able to provide any specific care. You should avoid state run hospitals and clinics that are typically unable to handle the hundreds of patients who seek medical care from them. You should also be aware that some hospitals in the country may be reluctant to provide you medical services if you cannot prove that you have medical insurance, so it is important to carry a copy of your coverage with you at all times. For this aforementioned reason, it is important that you obtain a comprehensive medical and travel insurance policy before your visit to El Salvador. Only then can you be sure that you will be able to receive the medical support you may need in case of an accident or medical mishap. A trip free from worries is what you deserve as you venture to the beautiful and exciting nation of El Salvador.
El Salvador International Insurance
As an international health insurance broker, Globalsurance works with a large number of international insurance providers and can even offer options for El Salvador international insurance. For more information about El Salvador, international medical insurance that we can provide, or to receive a free quote, please contact one of our expert advisers today.