Bogota - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Medical care (private) is world-class and in many cases better than in Canada (and cheaper). The main health effects are the perverse impacts of the high altitude; effects vary person to person and range from insomnia to generalized fatigue to shortness of breath to no symptoms at all. - Aug 2023

Elevation sickness can be tough for some people when they first arrive. Medical care here is really good. Doctors/nurses do house calls which is great for families with young children. Care is inexpensive. - Feb 2021

Not really. Good enough health care. - Jul 2020

Medical care is generally good. Some hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission. The Embassy recommends a few hospitals. There are also urgent care centers at some malls. Some doctors make house calls. 24 hour pharmacies will deliver medicine via Rappi. Many pregnant women deliver babies at local hospitals. The altitude affects some folks health. It take about a week or two to adjust for most. - Feb 2020

Medical care is generally good and affordable. An increasing number of embassy families are opting to have babies at post. Medical providers, including lab services, will come to your house. The main health concerns seem to be respiratory; people tend to get coughs and sniffles that just won't go away. Bogota is a high-altitude post and some people have more trouble adjusting to the altitude than others. The altitude can cause headaches and shortness of breath. - Nov 2018

People seem to get cold viruses their first few months here. It surprised me because my kids are generally never sick, but it seemed like we caught everything at first. One of the nurses at the Embassy told me that he finds many families seem to catch everything their first 6 months and then he doesn't see them again for the rest of their tour. The local care is good, too. It has to be very severe for a med evac. - Sep 2018

Air pollution is pretty bad. Medical care is excellent. The main hospital expats use is Fundacion Santa Fe, which is one of the top hospitals in South America. We have been there a few times and the care is very good. English-speaking doctors are also easy to find. I had an excellent obstetrician. Dental/orthodontia is a fraction of the cost of the US and good quality. - Aug 2018

Bogota is at 9,000 feet so many people experience altitude sickness. This can last for several months and drain your energy. Very few mosquitos or bugs, so low risk of malaria and zika (unlike the coast). Doctors are well educated and provide good quality of care. Navigating the bureaucracy and service inconsistencies can be frustrating. Facilities are not well maintained in comparison to the US. - May 2018

Some people have issues with the pollution. Medical care is widely available and its quality is decent. - Apr 2016

There is good medical care. Decent doctors, dentists and facilities are available at very reasonable prices. - Aug 2015

The air quality is quite poor. The medical care is very, very spotty even though particular hospitals are recommended for the American community. A number of people who were hospitalized while I was at post had very bad and somewhat scary experiences. - Aug 2014

Excellent medical care available. Altitude may be a health concern for some. - Jun 2014

Medical care is pretty good, but not quite at a US level. It is very difficult to navigate without Spanish, and payment is always required at the point of service. - May 2013

The embassy has a full-service health unit with staff including MDs, PAs, RNs, etc., as well as a lab for any testing. The local medical care is fabulous with many doctors who speak excellent English after training in the US. I've had very successful eye laser surgery and we've had one very quick and painless visit to the ER for our son. We've also had great dental care. The cost of treatment is much lower than in the US. - Jul 2012

The doctors are generally good, and although the prevailing perception is that it is less expensive than the US, if you are a foreigner, the cost will be more than, or the same as if you were in the States. (Does not apply to hospital costs.) Nursing care is abysmal. - Apr 2012

Altitude bothers some people. Quality of medical care both inside the Embassy and on the local market is great. - Dec 2011

Great medical care is available at very reasonable costs. Many adults get braces and lasik surgery! - Jul 2011

We didn't have a good experience, The doctors here are not very well prepared. But in the embassy the health unit makes you believe that you are in a 1st world country, so they don't have to pay for the medevac. - Nov 2010

Medical care is okay. - Sep 2010

Altitude is a factor for some people. Housing is at 9000 feet. - Aug 2010

Health care is GREAT. My son had an emergency appendectomy, and all went incredibly well. Lots of women choose to give birth here. - Aug 2010

Medical care here is excellent and few people ever get medevac'd. - Aug 2010

Because of the weather, kids are sick all the time. The doctors are not the best. We didn't have good experiences here, and to be medivac'd you need a really difficult surgery. Our kid needs adenoid surgery, and the embassy wants us to have the surgery here, but Colombian doctors are not the best. We have not had good experiences. They say that the eye doctors are good. - Jun 2010

Medical care is OK. Long waits, and doctors will always prescribe long lists of the most expensive medicines - never generic. - Jan 2010

Very good medical care is available, and there are dentists and orthodontists on every street corner. - Sep 2009

Good medical care on the economy (lots of dissatisfaction with the embassy health unit). Good availability of English-speaking local doctors, but getting past the receptionists and nurses can be challenging for non-Spanish speakers. - Dec 2008

A lot of respiratory issues -- my kids have a lot of coughs and runny noses here. The pollution makes it hard to stay healthy. - Dec 2008

There are no parasites here, but people don't like to wash hands here, they are not clean here. You will be sick very often, sinus infections are most common here. We are sick here all the time, I'm sick right now. Medical care is good, dental care is good too - if you need braces come here, the cost is about US$1,700 (for 12 year old). - Nov 2008

Good medical facilities and doctors, but a host of tropical disesases once you go out of the main cities. - Nov 2008

Medical care is fantastic in Bogota. Many Dr's are U.S. trained and certified but again, no English in the hospitals so Spanish is a must. - May 2008

Medical care is excellent, but the language barrier can often be a problem. Clinica del Country and Fundacion Santa Fe are both great. - Apr 2008


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