With a population of just over 10.7 million in 2015, Haiti ranks 85th in the world by population and 147th by total area. The official languages of Haiti are French and Haitian Creole French. The currency is the Haitian gourde.
Haiti ranks 138th in world health ranking per WHO. In 2014, the total expenditure on health per person was $131, which is 7.6% of the GDP. Haitian males have a life expectancy at birth of 62 years, and females can expect to live 66 years. There are 0.25 physicians per 1,000 people in Haiti as compared with 2.56 physicians per 1,000 people in the United States.
A 2010 earthquake demolished Haiti’s healthcare infrastructure. The Ministry of Health, part of the primary teaching hospital, and 50 health centers were wiped out. Public hospitals and clinics still suffer from insufficient medical staff, support staff, equipment, and treatment. Most rural areas have no access to healthcare.
Charity clinics run by medical Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) provide help. For example, Doctors Without Borders manages 4 hospitals, providing treatment for emergency trauma and obstetric care, neonatal emergency health care, severe burns, and cholera. Private clinics provide specialized procedures like CT scans and echocardiograms to the few who can afford them.
Not many Haitians have health insurance. In fact, about 80% of the population lives in extreme poverty, dying from diseases like TB, that have been curable for over 50 years. International donors are largely responsible for funding what healthcare is available to Haitian citizens. For example, the CDC’s Global Immunization Division works to provide routine vaccinations for up to 90% of the population.
Travel, or international, health insurance provides comprehensive medical coverage when traveling outside of one’s home country. Travel health insurance is different from travel insurance, as the latter may provide only emergency coverage but not full medical coverage.
Travelers should check with their health insurance provider, as they may already have an option of international health coverage. If they do not, they can purchase travel health insurance from their home country or the destination country.