Information for Patients
Healthcare in Guatemala is divided between the public and private sector. Although the Guatemalan government has guaranteed universal healthcare coverage to its citizens, the actual practice of it has been difficult given the poor service of the system and limited resources. While the government is investing in the health system, the country still suffers from high maternal morbidity and child mortality rates due to lack of skilled medical professionals especially in rural areas. Higher quality of public sector care can be found in the cities but are less the optimal. Many private practices have doctors that are educated in Europe and the US and have services that are on par with the USA. In rural areas, where there is a lack of medical professionals, NGOs train community based workers in basic primary care to deliver essential services.
Information for Health Care Professionals
All approval and consultations are required to be done via the Guatemalan Embassy or representation within your jurisdiction. Please consult both the local Guatemalan embassy/consulate as well as the representative of a key Guatemalan medical society in order to understand the requirements needed to practice medicine in Guatemala. Fluency in Spanish is required in order to practice in the country medically.
Spanish is the language of instruction for medical education in Guatemala.
Information for Travelers
Expats tend to frequent the private health sector due to the consistent quality in can provide in comparison to the public healthcare system. There is a proportion of US citizens who flock to Guatemala as well for cheaper health services in their private system, albeit the numbers are not significant. The main language of dominance within the country is Spanish. All medical professionals will be fluent in Spanish with a few fluent in English or indigenous Mayan languages in the rural area. Private sector doctors tend to have a member of staff who is fluent in English.
Link to the Ministry of health website for that country: https://www.mspas.gob.gt/index.php/noticias/covid-19/coronavirus-2019-ncov