An expat guide to healthcare and health insurance in Ivory Coast

Are you researching an expat health insurance for Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)? It is important to inform yourself on the local healthcare system first.

Whether you are moving to Ivory Coast or you are already living there as an expat, read our guide to the Ivorian healthcare system, your different options of medical insurance for Ivory Coast and an overview of the average cost of local healthcare.

Health statistics

* Data from the WHO

  • Total population (2017): 24 million
  • Gross national income per capita (PPP international $, 2017): 3,820
  • Life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2016): 54/56
  • Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population, 2016): 417/376
  • Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2014): 187
  • Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2014) 5.7
Healthcare in the Ivory Coast for expats

The standard of healthcare and health insurance in Ivory Coast is generally considered as sub-par, so health insurance including repatriation is strongly advised if you are visiting or moving to the West African country.

Be warned that the social protection system in Ivory Coast does not offer health insurance, but instead covers only occupational accidents and illnesses. Care in public health facilities incurs a cost (this was introduced in 1994 due to the inability of the state to meet public health needs on its own). For private health facilities, admission is subject to prior insurance payments. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended to have a private health insurance in Ivory Coast.

The healthcare system in Ivory Coast has been negatively affected by socio-political disturbances in the country since December 1999 and the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. Although the country recovered well, basic services have still not been completely re-established and structural problems remain. The country’s Ministry of Health and the fight against AIDS summarised in a report on national health policy that its funding is inadequate and the population’s geographical and financial accessibility to quality basic healthcare is limited.

Rural areas in particular suffer from a shortage of hospitals and medical staff. Large cities have more of a medical infrastructure, both private and public, and it is generally recommended to go to Abidjan for treatment. Some private hospitals, such as the Sainte Anne-Marie International Polyclinic or the Hôtel Dieu offer good quality care. However, as a general rule, medical facilities in Abidjan remain below the quality standards of Western medical centres.

In the case of certain specialist health problems, it may even be necessary to seek treatment in another country due to local healthcare facilities not necessarily having all the necessary medical technology. It is therefore essential to have international health insurance which includes evacuation/repatriation so that the costs incurred in the event of evacuation as well as the medical care delivered outside the country are not at your expense.

International health insurance for expats in Ivory Coast

An international health insurance will cover you not only in Ivory Coast but also in your country of nationality. Often the area of cover is worldwide without the USA, but in order to reduce the premium, you could also opt for an insurance policy that is only covering Africa. However as already indicated above, it is important that your insurance policy includes repatriation/evacuation assistance in order to be evacuated to the nearest medical centre that can offer adequate care or to be repatriated to your home country.

Expat Assure helps you decide the most appropriate expat health insurance for Ivory Coast depending on your situation and needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for your personalised health insurance comparison.

If you would like wider financial protection in the event of stopping work due to an accident or disabling illness, Expat Assure can also advise you on expat life insurance for Ivory Coast and income protection. To find out more, please, read our page on income protection and life insurance for expatriates.

 

What is the best health insurance for expats in Ivory Coast ?

The best health insurance in Ivory Coast for another expat might not be the best for you as everyone has different needs and criteria.

In order to find which one is the it is important to consider several aspects such as your medical history, your age, your specific needs in terms of medical cover, your situation in Ivory Coast, alongside other parameters.

Expat Assure helps you to find the international medical insurance for Ivory Coast that best suits your profile and needs. Contact us today to request your free an non-obligatory health insurance comparison.

How much does healthcare cost in Ivory Coast?

Below is an approximation of medical costs in the public sector:

  • Consultation with a general practitioner: 15,000 – 20,000 CFA francs (£21 – £27/$25-$34)
  • Consultation with a specialist doctor: 17,500 CFA francs (£24/$30)
  • Consultation with a dentist: usually 15,000 – 20,000 CFA francs (£21 – £27/$25-$34). Installation of a ceramic/metal crown is around 400,000 CFA francs (£550$695)
  • A single room in a hospital: around 50,000 CFA francs (£68/$87). Please note, this does not include doctor’s fees, nursing costs, treatment or procedures. A hospital bill without insurance can easily amount to several thousand pounds.

What is the cost of private health insurance in Ivory Coast?

Such as with any type of health insurance, the price of medical insurance for expats in Ivory Coast varies greatly depending on the age, medical history, family composition of the applicant and other factors.

If you would like to have a precise estimation of the cost of international health insurance for Ivory Coast, which applies to your specific situation and needs, we can prepare for you a personalised comparison of different international health insurance plans. Contact us today for your free health insurance comparison.

Practical information

Vaccinations

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers entering the country. It is also recommended that your immunisation schedule is up to date. Vaccinations against hepatitis B, rabies, meningococcal meningitis and typhoid can be advised depending on the nature of your stay.

Malaria

Ivory Coast is classified as Zone 3 for the risk of malaria, so there is a high risk in all areas throughout the year. Before departure you should seek advice from a doctor or tropical diseases vaccination centre about suitable antimalarial tablets.  

HIV

Ivory Coast is one of the most highly affected countries in West Africa by the AIDS virus. Basic precautions for protection against the AIDS virus must be taken.

Emergency phone numbers

Ambulance: 185 or 22 44 34 45 or 22 44 53 53
Police (emergency): 111 or 170
Fire department: 180 or 07 81 18 18

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