The white sandy beaches, clear seas and temperate climate of Mauritius have captured the hearts of many expats. So, if you’re thinking of relocating to this subtropical paradise for the long term, it’s important to understand how the healthcare system operates on the island.
Mauritius healthcare is recognised for its quality internationally and is available to all its residents. The health system is split into two sectors: public and private. The island has a variety of different hospitals and clinics, with some specialising in specific medical issues and treatments. The public healthcare is completely free, available via dispensaries and hospitals throughout Mauritius, and is capable of handling most medical conditions and emergencies. However, there are long waiting times and more complex health issues will require a visit to a private clinic or (in rare cases) overseas medical evacuation. Specialised treatment is mainly given by private clinics on the island. If you need treatment overseas, you will most likely be treated in India, South Africa or Reunion Island.
As levels of disposable income and the availability of affordable health insurance have increased, many expats and native Mauritians are taking out private health cover. Investing in the medical sector has also made the island a popular destination for medical tourism.
The following sections discuss the Mauritian healthcare system in greater detail and provide options for expats looking to relocate and integrate permanently.
The national healthcare system in Mauritius has both public and the private sectors, with the private sector being the more expensive option. It is known to be one of the most expensive healthcare systems in Africa and is highly regarded by Western standards. Around 73% of the population’s healthcare needs are managed for free by the public sector. The remaining 27% is dealt with by the private sector1. The private hospitals are much better equipped than the public ones, with long waiting times and poorer conditions according to those choosing private healthcare. If you need specialist treatment or a more advanced procedure, you will be treated in a private clinic (in rare cases, you may have to travel overseas to Reunion Island, India or South Africa). Private healthcare options are well-funded, and their quality attracts lots of medical tourism. Private and state ambulances are available but are of varying quality, cost and speed.
As an expat who is not yet a resident, you can expect to pay for your medical treatments, as you won’t be able to use the public medical services for free. Most expats take out medical insurance in Mauritius because the private clinics have higher standards of care.
As a member of the Commonwealth of National and La Francophonie there are only two ways to access the Mauritian healthcare system cheaply or for free: by becoming a resident or as a French citizen who contributes to the CFE (the French health cover for citizens abroad). If the first two options do not apply, then, as an expat, you will need to pay for your healthcare, whether you use public or private health facilities. Most expats choose private medical insurance as their primary source of healthcare funding because it is the best way to access the superior facilities offered by the Mauritian private healthcare sector.
If you are in need of urgent medical assistance, dial 999 or 114 and ask for an ambulance. Private and state-owned ambulance services are readily available on these numbers but differ in terms of quality and promptness. It is recommended that in an emergency, you go directly to a private hospital if possible. If you have private insurance, contact the insurer immediately if you are referred to a private medical facility and always make sure you have adequate repatriation cover. In rare cases, complex treatments might require medical evacuation to Reunion Island, India or South Africa.
When searching for a General Practitioner or doctor, the best place to start is with a recommendation from an expat community near you. It is also possible to visit your embassy’s website, as they often display a list of certified doctors by sector and specialism.
There are regulated pharmacies throughout the island. They have clearly defined signage and almost all are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except on Saturdays when they close at 2pm; they are closed on Sundays). Public hospitals may not have up-to-date medicines readily available, so it may cost you more to get your medicines from a private hospital if you don’t have insurance.
You are allowed to bring ‘common medicines’ for personal use, but you must carry a copy of the prescription with you. Certain medicines like tranquillisers, hypnotics, narcotics and other strong painkillers will require prior authorisation from the Mauritian Health Ministry.
As an expat, you will need to pay for your use of public or private health facilities in Mauritius (including for your local General Practitioner and dentistry services). Having health insurance in Mauritius also gives you access to the island’s private health facilities, which are largely preferred by expats and residents alike.
Taking the necessary steps towards relocating to a new country can be difficult. But don’t worry, with a dedicated team, 24/7 support and a plan tailored to your needs, you’ll be free to live your tropical island dream. Start your life in the sun today.
Searching for the perfect retirement spot by the sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean or on extended business in Port Louis, we’ll cover you for any period between 3 and 11 months. Our short-term international health plan will also cover medical evacuation and repatriation.
Known across the world for its sandy white beaches, breath-taking waterfalls and unique flora and fauna, Mauritius is truly a paradise. So, don’t let the worries of healthcare weigh you down. Choose an international health plan that’s right for you.
Finding a trusted doctor in a new place can be tough. With the Virtual Doctor service, you can talk to an experienced doctor in a range of languages. Available by phone or video consultation, day and night2.
With all the right information, around 80% of all eligible claims are paid within 48 hours. So, you can get back to enjoying your sandy beach retreat3.
Finding the right kind of healthcare can be time-consuming. We make it easy with our range of comprehensive cover plans, including dental and medical scans (CT, PET, MRI) as standard.
In the rare case that a complicated procedure cannot be done in Mauritius itself, our team is ready to arrange evacuation and repatriation services the most suitable location for your needs.
Trading your life at home for a life on a subtropical island can take some getting used to. But don’t give it a second thought, you can speak to qualified professionals through the Mind Health4.
It isn’t always easy to find the level of care you need on the bustling island of Mauritius. So, for the moments when you need a little extra help, you can get an independent second opinion from the experts.5
Whether you’re relocating to Mauritius for your dream job in the sun, or your dream home, we’ve got a range of cover levels to suit your needs. Here are some examples of who we cover:
We can help you make the most of your professional opportunities by offering extensive coverage plans, including eye tests, prescriptions and a range of outpatient services as standard.
Perfect for families and budgets of any size, we can help you and your family with all aspects of the Mauritian healthcare system. For all stages of life, we offer coverage that includes maternity and pregnancy benefits, routine and non-routine dental check-ups, vaccinations, asthma treatments and prescription glasses.
If you’re looking to relocate to Mauritius to retire in the sunshine. We provide international healthcare cover which includes annual health check-ups, palliative care and disability compensation, giving you and your family peace of mind during your sunny retirement.
*Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm (GMT).
Calls may recorded and/or monitored for quality assurance, training and as a record of the conversation.
The Virtual Doctor, Mind Health and Second Medical Opinion services are provided by Teladoc Health.
‘Local insights have been provided by Oban International’s LIME (Local In-Market Expert) network’ - https://obaninternational.com/lime-network/
2 The virtual doctor service is provided by Teladoc Health. Appointments are subject to availability. You do not need to pay or claim for a consultation, but you will be charged for the cost of the initial phone call when using the call back service. You won’t be charged if you request a call back using the app or online portal. Telephone appointments are available 24/7/365 and call-backs are typically within 24 hours. Telephone appointments in Greek are available between 09:00 and 21:00 EET, 7 days a week. Video appointments in English, Spanish and Mandarin are available between 08.00 and 00.00 UK time, Monday to Friday. Video appointments in German are available between 08:00 -20:00 CET, Monday to Friday.
3 80.5% of eligible claims submitted online between January 2022 and December 2022 were paid within 2 days
4 Service provided by Teladoc Health. This service provides you with access to six sessions with a psychologist, per mind health concern, per policy year. Mind Health psychologist appointments are available in English and Spanish between Monday and Friday, 09.00 - 17.30 (UK time).
5 Service provided by Teladoc Health