Medical Care in Peru
Peru’s health-care system is excellent considering the fact that many Peruvians live in poverty. Even small villages usually have a medical post, or posta médica, which is often staffed with a university-trained medical student completing his or her residency. Midsize cities like Huaraz have a range of health options, including a few government hospitals and a few private clinics. In general, the clinics provide more personalized, high-tech service, but plenty of state hospitals offer in general better health care than what you could ever get in the United States. A country doctor in Peru is probably going to identify your particular stomach ailment faster than a specialist in the United States, simply because the Peruvian doctor has seen your condition many times before.
For serious medical problems or accidents, we recommend that people travel to Lima. The best hospitals are there, and insurance companies abroad are often able to handle payments directly with them (elsewhere the patient is expected to shell out the cash and hopefully be reimbursed later).
Nearly all international medical policies will cover a speedy evacuation to your country if necessary, which is one of the main reasons for getting insurance in the first place. A good resource for advice in medical situations is the South American Explorers Club in Lima (Piura 135, Miraflores, tel. 01/445-3306, www.saexplorers.org).
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition