Healthcare in Houston

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Texas Children's Hospital - Healthcare in TexasHealthcare in Houston can be summed up in a mere three words – Texas Medical Center (TMC). This world-renowned facility is the largest of its kind, made up of 49 institutions, including 13 hospitals, two speciality hospitals, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and a number of other houses of learning and research.

Foreigners and citizens from across the USA travel to Houston to receive treatment from within its wards and, in turn, the centre entices some of the foremost medical professionals in America to come to Houston to practice.

To name a few of the formidable institutions: The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center was ranked as one of the coutry’s top cancer hospitals; the Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest paediatric hospital in the States and is ranked among the best in a number of departments; and the Texas Heart Institute at St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is a top-performing heart surgery facility.

Expats moving to Houston will not only have access to the TMC’s high-ranking medical services, they also have the benefit of living in a city where the standard of healthcare, in general, has been elevated to compete with the centre and its achievements.

Urgent care centres, walk-in clinics, assisted living facilities for the elderly, comprehensive care hospitals explicitly for women, and even a healthcare programme that caters to homeless people are all part of Houston’s push to provide residents with the best healthcare possible.

Finding a doctor in Houston

Though Houston claims the most impressive healthcare climate in the Southwest US, its reputation still doesn’t make it any easier to find a doctor that aligns with every patient's individual preferences.

While the Harris County Medical Society Physician Referral Service is one traditional resource that can help new arrivals find a doctor in their local area, it is still best to engage with the local community and use word of mouth channels to find a reputable practitioner.

Colleagues and employers can also be good sources for recommendations, as can web forums.

Pharmacies in Houston

Pharmacies are widely available in Houston, and are usually found within 'drug stores'. Popular drug stores in Houston are CVS, Walgreens and Randalls.

Many medicines can be obtained over the counter, but prescription medication can only be obtained with approval from a physician. Many pharmacies stay open as late as 1am.

Health insurance in Houston

As in the greater US, health insurance is a must-have in Houston. There is no universal coverage in America and, as a result, those without insurance who need treatment will often have to pay exorbitant fees out of their own pockets.

Furthermore, with no system of compulsory coverage, the onus falls on the individual to negotiate with their employer for health insurance; or to organise it independently.

Most employers in Houston do provide healthcare in association with employment packages, and it is commonplace for dependants and spouses to be covered by these packages as well.

Do note that most employer-sponsored coverage is limited to a certain type of plan, so those that have a complicated medical issue may still be necessary to organise health insurance independently.

Plans through independent, private carriers tend to be more expensive, but they also allow  freedom to shop around for the specific type of coverage that is needed.  

If purchasing health insurance through a private carrier, be sure the company holds a valid Texas insurance licence.

Hospitals in Houston

Houston is a big city and expats should find out about the most suitable hospital that is close to their home. Below is a list of the most prominent hospitals in Houston:

St Joseph Medical Centre
1401 St Joseph Parway 
+1 713 757 1000

Texas Medical Center
2450 Holcombe Boulverad 1
+1 713 791 6451

The Woman's Hospital of Texas
7600 Fannin Street
+1 713790 1234

St Luke's Episcopal Health System
6720 Bertner Avenue
+1 713 785 8537

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital
7600 Beechnut Street
+713 456 5000

West Houston Medical Center
12141 Richmond Avenue
+1 281 558 3444

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