Ethiopia Medical Tourism

Ethiopia Medical Tourism Image

Origins and Destinations for Health Care: Ethiopia

Introduction: Citizens around the world, no matter their race, religion, or country of origin, deserve the best in excellent medical healthcare delivery services. Some countries have the advantage of high technology, plentiful services, and excellent medical and healthcare training programs, while others are not so fortunate. Nevertheless, inhabitants from around the world can be assured that they can find adequate and affordable healthcare and management, even if it means crossing borders.

Country Overview - Ethiopia
Ethiopia, known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is the second most populated nation on the African continent.  Located in the northeastern section of the continent, Ethiopia is a land of beauty, history, wildlife and friendly people.  A beautiful country that offers everything from waterfalls to volcanoes to mountains and plains, Ethiopia is the home of nearly one billion inhabitants.

Ethiopia is an ancient land spoken of in 1000-year-old documents, and today is divided into 13 separate provinces, many of them with historical regions and significance.  Located mainly in the horn of Africa, Sudan borders Ethiopia to the west, while Somalia Ankeny a border it's eastern and southern demarcation.  Ethiopia is divided by the Great Rift Valley, offering a variety of terrains, wildlife, and social as well as economic diversity.

Unfortunately, drought and economic difficulties have prevented Ethiopia from developing into a more powerful nation, and at times, the Ethiopian government relies heavily on foreign aid.

Healthcare Environment
The healthcare environment in Ethiopia, while striving to meet the needs of its citizens, is lacking in adequate professional medical providers and services.  According to the world health organization, less than three physicians per 100,000 citizens are currently available in the country.  Ethiopia's citizens commonly deal with communicable diseases, among which malnutrition and pour sanitation can be blamed. A lack of trained healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities and hospitals also contribute to the problem.

While there are over 100 hospitals and nearly 400 health centers scattered throughout the country, Ethiopians experienced a low average life expectancy of less than 50 years, and infant mortality rates are high. Poor or sparsely located healthcare facilities and training universities produce very few in-county doctors and surgeons. The country continues to deal with a prevalent HIV and AIDS affected population.

Why Ethiopians are Traveling Abroad for Treatment
Ethiopians are increasingly traveling across borders, most commonly Southeast Asian destinations for:

  • Internationally recognized healthcare organization and delivery systems
  • Quality healthcare not available in their own country
  • More advanced technologies, equipment and comprehensive care facilities
  • Access to affordable treatments and procedures
  • Availability of specialized surgical procedures and technologies

Where are Ethiopians Traveling for Medical Care?
Growing numbers of Ethiopians are traveling to Central Europe, India and Southeast Asian Medical tourism destinations for care. Nearly 95% of African citizens are traveling to countries like Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and India for the best in orthopedic, cardiac, pediatric an internal medicine care and services.

What to Take with You
Ethiopians considering international travel and medical care should contact the embassy of the country they wish to visit for list of requirements to obtain a passport and visa, if required by the destination country.

Contact a medical facility directly or through, a major medical resource for international medical travelers regarding options and locations for the type of medical care in which you are interested. Documents may include but are not limited to:

  • Medical records - including recent treatments/procedures
  • List of medications - don't forget to mention any allergies
  • Consultation or referrals from domestic health care provider
  • Detailed medical history - be prepared to answer questions regarding your social history and background.

Ethiopians Traveling Abroad Should Discuss:

  • Costs - what are the costs of a medical travel package (accommodations, lab fees, physical exams, consultations, procedure costs) during the stay.
  • Prepayment requirements - and how facilities want to be paid. Do they take cash? Will Ethiopian travelers need to convert Ethiopian birr to foreign currencies? Will the facility take traveler's checks or credit card payments?
  • Details for prospective treatments - upfront payments or deposits?
  • Transportation Issues - Will facilities offer pick-up and drop-off services for arriving patients? Are taxis available, and if so, what are the rules regarding taxi rates?

Ethiopian citizens traveling abroad for medical care regardless of destination are encouraged to research information and ask questions of their chosen facility provider regarding travel and treatment arrangements. Don't hesitate to ask questions, and always keep a copy of contact information with you as you travel to your medical destination.