The cost of being sick in Jamaica!

Author : teriann

It’s flu season and I have a sore throat and a cough so I am already preparing myself for the full onset of the virus which might mean a trip to the doctor. Of course, not everyone visits the doctor for treatment  of minor ailments but what happens if you really get sick?

Well, in contrast to what some might think it can be very expensive to get sick in Jamaica.

The average cost in Kingston to see a private doctor ranges between $3,500 – $4,500.  Clinics usually offer a reduced rate for patients to see a doctor.

The cost of some prescribed medication can be high but there is government assistance for those with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes.  There is also medical insurance that helps to cover some of the cost.

What about if you need further tests?

Laboratory fees can escalate up to $10,000 for selected tests.  That figure sounds intimidating doesn’t it?

Bear in mind though, that if you go the private route then the costs will be substantial.

What about the cost of medical treatment at a public hospital?

Well the ‘free’ public hospitals do offer treatment at no cost.

However sometimes major surgeries can be postponed due to lack of critical equipment. At times, patients have to buy specialized components before surgery can be scheduled.

Private facilities offer quick service but it comes with a price.  It is a price that often many are willing to pay since the long wait times at public hospitals are time consuming.

Some medications are offered free at public hospitals but again this is usually a long process.

What is the best option? Well it would be nice to stay healthy and avoid hospitals and doctors altogether. However that might not be realistic.

So the best thing, in my humble opinion, depends on how sick you are and how much you have to spend.

As for me, I am going load up on my vitamins and hope for the best!

What’s your take on the issue?

Drop me a line!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer

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4 Responses to “The cost of being sick in Jamaica!”

  1. Karen ReidWilliams says:

    I work in healthcare here in California and private hospitas and public hospitals all cost there is no “free” except for the ones who dont pay or refuse to follow up with the paperwork to get hospital reimburse. Its good to see that my homeland has options and its the “time” that seem to be the main issue.I do my home remedies before even thinking of going to the hospital or a urgent care because thats how I was raised. Wish majority of simple ailments consumers would think like you and do the same before running to the hospitals.

  2. Sian Rose says:

    Besides the lack of modern equipment and facilities I see little issue with the healthcare system in Jamaica. Healthcare is expensive everywhere, heck the USA just had a Gov’t shutdown in response to efforts at facilitating healthcare for the poor. I am looking to return home to Jamaica after 27 years in the US and ehaving looked at the current system in Jamaica;I am more concerned about the lack of private insurance which makes healthcare more accessible and affordable than I am about access to care

  3. Jeff Peimer says:


    Do you know where I can get a guide to fees for Jamaican doctors? I am a Canadian registered doctor and cannot find a guide anywhere. It should be in the public domain.


  4. teriann says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for reading and commenting on my post. The fees in Jamaica vary depending on the specialty of the doctor and the services which their patients need. The location of the doctor’s office also has a bearing on the fees. Fees for doctor’s visits can range from $1,500 – $15,000 or more. The best way to find out is to call the office and make inquiries as the receptionist will gladly reveal the cost of the visit. Hope this helps.

    Teri Ann

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