Home City Services Medical Care Great healthcare is available for expats too!

Great healthcare is available for expats too!

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Healthcare should always be at the forefront of our minds, regardless of where we choose to live and for those of us who make our homes abroad, the decision comes with many considerations and challenges. Healthcare is a major concern for many and the good news is that the public healthcare system in Colombia is available to any resident holding a cedula, the bad news is that it’s not that great. Many ex-pats opt to buy private health insurance or ‘medicina prepagada’ but often the most convenient route is to just pay out of pocket, what they call particular. The process to get a general appointment involves a lot of waiting, repetitiveness and is overall pretty inefficient. If you don’t speak Spanish there is an added level of difficulty because while there are many bilingual doctors available, in order to see them you must go through a scheduler or a secretary who likely is not bilingual. In an attempt to make the process easier, consider the following options.

health care
A doctor takes good care of a pregnant patient undergoing imaging

Clinica de La Costa is a privately owned healthcare facility located at Cra 50 #80-90 with physicians in internal medicine and almost every specialty you can think of. There are many doctors available with varying levels of English as well as a very select few who can communicate in Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, and German. The hospital is in the process of organizing a special service with a bilingual (native English) coordinator for those needing routine (non-urgent) medical attention with an English speaking physician. You can send a WhatsApp message in English that includes your name, your contact information, date of birth, the reason for needing an appointment, and any specific preferences, and then simply prepay the consult fee and within 24 hrs an appointment will be arranged for you.

You can find the WhatsApp info as well as a list of departments offering English speakers in our directory here:

https://www.barranquillanow.com/directory/healthcare

Some tips for using this service:

Ø If you have a specific issue and you can get your previous medical records it’s worth it.

Ø If you can send a photo of your ID it’s easier.

Ø Be clear in all your preferences to avoid a lot of back and forth. For example, if you prefer a female doctor or a Tuesday afternoon, be clear. You can check out the hospital at http://clinicadelacosta.co/ to see if your specialty is offered.

North American wife with a costeño husband, bicultural twins and a dog confused about her identity. Michele has spent almost 11 years living in Colombia and holds a degree in International Relations. She now spends her days telling the story of one mom losing her mind while trying not to lose her cool amidst the clash of cultures in her own home.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I do need a doctor. I have not been able to get my medication for rmy heart and other health issues. I am afraid my CD4 count is getting of. I am having issues which shows me this.I need ID physician and a general practitioner. or internist? I am 66 and don’t know where to turn.

    • Hi Mark, please reach out to the WhatsApp number provided at the end of the article tomorrow. I assure you that they can guide you in the right direction.

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