Medical & Emergency
Antigua is a amall Caribbean Island with a population of less than 100,000. Many towns in the U.K. and U.S with populations of this size do not have the health care facilities available in Antigua, both public and private. There is a medical benefits system in place for citizens and residents and, with conditions, medical treatment is free to those who qualify. Aarrangements are in place with other countries to share facilities where they are not available in Antigua
It is to be hoped that medical treatment is not required during your visit, however, if it is, all the modern facilities are available together with well stocked chemists (pharmacies) which have all the well known over the counter medicines and most of the prescription medicines found elsewhere. There is a large modern hospital in St. John’s with the latest medical equipment and a medical staff of over two hundred trained personnel plus five hundred ancillary staff. Mount St John's Medical Centre is a 185 bed hospital with a full range of services, from primary care to advanced critical care.
Many hotels have access to a doctor or have medically trained staff on the premises. It is worth asking when booking an hotel.
The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, Emergency Department is designed to function as a fully equipped tertiary centre care for serious traumas and serve as a regional resource. It has a bed capacity of 20. Charges for treatment at the hospital are published on the Government’s website and, compared with U.S. or European costs, are modest. Promised to be opened soon at Cobbs Cross, Falmouth will be a Government medical clinic which will serve the English Harbour area.
In addition to the main hospital, there are numerous private medical clinics, doctors’ practices and dental surgeries where international standards of treatment is available. There are also several private hospitals where specialised treatment is available, probably the leading one being Medical Surgical Associates located in the Woods Centre, St John's.
Antigua is well known for its medical university. Many students from all over the world attend the American University of Antigua.
Being a small country, it is necessary for certain specialised or rare conditions to be treated in larger population centres sometimes as far away as the U.S. or the U.K. It is advisable to have medical insurance for both treatment in Antigua and for emergency evacuation. If travelling without medical insurance be sure to check the price of your treatment as this can vary from doctor to doctor although, as with anything, you generally pay for the service you get. Also, make sure your credit card is acceptable when you make your appointment. You will also be expected to pay a deposit if you require treatment at the main hospital in St. John’s. There is a national ambulance service based in St. John’s as well as privately run ambulances and the ABSAR ambulance in English Harbour
Emergency and routine dentistry is available from a number of practices on the island, all of them in the St. John’s area. Although Antigua’s dentists are trained to international standards, like anywhere in the world, quality does vary a little from practice to practice and, for the visitor, if treatment is required, it is best to attend one of the better known clinics which will deal with emergencies at short notice. Usually, emergency treatment will be covered by travel insurance although most treatments will probably be below many insurance policy excess limits. Probably not required by visitors but most good clinics will also offer cosmetic dentistry.
Located in the centre of all the yachting activity is an emergency medical centre for the treatment of minor injuries and ailments. The Medic Station is housed in Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort and run by ABSAR (Antigua Barbuda Search & Rescue) which has two Land Rover ambulances for use in the event of a more major emergency requiring hospitalisation in St John’s or for airlift evacuation. Fully trained volunteer paramedics are based in the Medical Station or are on call 24 hours a day also operate a high speed res- cue craft and fire fighting equipment and are available on +1 268 562 1234 or VHF Channel 6.