A healthcare crisis currently exists in Libya due to the ongoing conflict. The vast majority of foreign health workers have left the country, which has left hospitals severely understaffed. Militarisation of healthcare facilities has also affected access. The looting and destruction of medical facilities have led to medicine and equipment shortage and overall increases in the price of medicines.
With the healthcare system in such a state, organisations such as Doctors Without Borders have a large presence in the country. It has set up mobile clinics in Tripoli and surrounding areas. These clinics mostly focus on infections, diarrhea and skin diseases.
Libyan locals often pursue medical facilities abroad for the more chronic conditions that plague the country’s population – such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
It is therefore highly recommended that expats consider medical options abroad if a serious condition arises. That means a medical insurance package should provide for emergency repatriation.
Medical facilities in Libya
Medical facilities in Libya are limited and it is essential for expats to become a member of a private clinic.
Medilink is a private clinic that functions according to either a basic membership and pay-as-you-go service fees, or all-inclusive style membership. The Medilink Clinic in Tripoli is staffed by English-speaking expat doctors, and is a popular choice of those accustomed to Western standards of healthcare. The clinic offers family and emergency services. Many expats employed by oil companies and other corporate employees and their families are known to be paying members.
Health insurance in Libya
It's important that expats have private health insurance while in Libya. Nonetheless, many times doctors will expect payment in cash immediately. Still, private healthcare provides safety and superior service to the ailing public sector.
Expats should negotiate private health insurance as part of their employment contracts.
Upon arrival, expats should register at a clinic of their choice, and carry the clinic card on their person as a means of identification in case of an accident.
Recommended healthcare facilities in Libya
Address: Shara Hasi Messaoud, Suq El Gbub, Ghirgharesh, Tarabulus, Libya
Swiss Diagnostic Clinic
Address: Shari Bin Ashour, Tripoli, Libya
Saint James Hospital
Address: Wesayat El Bderi Nofleen, Tripoli, Libya
►Education and Schools in Libya is essential reading for expats considering a move to Libya with children
"I’ve used private hospitals twice in Misurata to see doctors for my children and it was great. The doctors were very professional, extremely friendly and most of them spoke a little English which obviously helps since I can’t really speak Arabic. I haven’t tried public facilities and I know that Libyans who need heavy medical attention usually travel to Tunisia if they can afford it as things are not very good at that level."
Read more about French expat Jameela's experiences in Libya.
Are you an expat living in Libya?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Libya. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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