Information for Patients
The healthcare system of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, consists of both public and private facilities, both regulated by the government. Public healthcare facilities are unfortunately very limited, thereby offering mostly inadequate health services in case of emergencies and surgeries. This means that medical evacuation is necessary in case of a medical emergency involving complex surgery or treatment modalities.
In 2008, the Integrated Community Health Services (SISCa) was introduced by the Ministry of Health to provide better access to basic primary health care services to communities. The government is working hard to further build this program in order to provide better medical support throughout.
Private facilities require upfront payments to be made for all medical treatments and can therefore only be afforded by a small percentage of the population. However, these still are not able to provide the necessary equipment to cover complex surgeries.
Visitor travelling to Timor-Leste are strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance that is able to cover a medical evacuation, usually to Darwin, Australia.
Information for Health Care Professionals
Doctors able to visit and practice in Timor-Leste seem to be greatly appreciated as volunteers are always needed. Therefore, doctors at any stage of their career are very appreciated.
The official national language is Tetum, an Austronesian language derived by Portuguese.
Information for Travelers
The most common languages spoken in Timor-Leste are Portuguese and Tetun. English is also used as a working language.
Recommended vaccinations to get before traveling to Timor-Leste are hepatitis, typhoid, rabies and Japanese encephalitis, in addition to all routine vaccinations. Anyone travelling to Timor-Leste should take precautions against the mosquito-borne Dengue fever, which occurs commonly. In 2011, a measles outbreak was reported amongst children below the age of 14.
Link to the Ministry of health website for Timor-Leste: http://www.moh.gov.tl/