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Before You Go
If your health insurance does not cover you for medical expenses while in Antigua and Barbuda, it's recommended that you take out supplemental insurance. Be sure to get a policy that also covers emergency repatriation. While some plans pay doctors or hospitals directly, note that some healthcare providers may still demand immediate payment from nonlocals.
Note that some policies specifically exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving, trekking and mountain biking. If you plan on engaging in any of those, make sure you're covered.
Aside from routine vaccinations – measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio – the US-based Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A and typhoid for most travelers to Dominica.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
For details see wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/antigua-and-barbuda.
Recommended items for a personal medical kit:
- acetaminophen/paracetamol or aspirin
- antibacterial ointment
- anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
- DEET-containing insect repellent
- antibacterial hand sanitizer
- hydrocortisone cream (for allergic rashes)
- Center for Disease Control (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/antigua-and-barbuda)
- Smart Traveller (www.smarttraveller.gov.au)
- Travel Health Pro (www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/10/antigua-and-barbuda)
- UK Government (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/antigua-and-barbuda/health)
In Antigua & Barbuda
Availability & Cost of Healthcare
For minor illnesses, hotels and resorts will be able to help you find medical assistance. Healthcare is expensive and the standard of the care and equipment not as high, modern or comprehensive as you might be used to. The nearest hyperbaric chambers are in Saba, St Thomas and Guadeloupe.
Hannah Thomas Hospital Tiny outpatient facility on Barbuda.
Mt St John's Medical Centre Main hospital with 185 beds and 24-hour emergency room; on Antigua.
Zika outbreaks have been reported in Antigua and Barbuda, so protecting yourself from mosquito bites with repellent containing DEET is highly recommended. Pregnant women should not travel to Antigua and Barbuda because of the risk of Zika-related birth defects.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend drinking tap water on Antigua and Barbuda, but many people do it without incident. Bottled water, though, is cheap and widely available.