Lima - 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?
Local medical care is adequate at the private clinics and routine care is fine (also dental). Easily available COVID-19 testing and vaccines. - Jul 2022
Pollution is terrible, even in the sunnier suburbs in La Molina area. Coupled with humidity year round and the huge dunes of sand in the neighborhood, allergies and respiratory problems are continuous. It takes forever for coughs to go away (because of the constant assault from pollution, especially in the winter months, July - October) and our kids and their friends frequently get bronchitis. Many adults see numerous allergists, but can't find solutions because there are none. The US Embassy has issued hepa filters for household use and we use them, but haven't seen major improvements.
La Molina has mosquitoes, including Aedes Egypti that carries Zika, but so far the Lima-based Zika cases have been confirmed in farther away neighborhoods. The suburbs around the lakes in La Molina like Las Lagunas, seem to have a lot more mosquitoes than the older parts of the area. Medical care for most everything that's not a specialized condition, is pretty good. Natural medicine (acupuncture, pollen therapy, etc.) is well developed and high quality. There are several good hospitals, urgent care centers, and doctors' offices all over Lima. - Oct 2018
Cleanliness is a huge concern while eating out. The gastric issues we had in Lima were the worst, so beware of where you eat. Clean hands are not a real concern in Peru. Medical care is good in Lima; we had friends who had babies and medical emergencies with no problems. Anglo Americana is a good clinic located near the embassy and the La Molina area. - Mar 2018
Air quality is extremely poor, and Zika stays in the back of many minds. It's not in Lima yet but seems like it might only be a matter of time. - Apr 2017
Amazing medical care is available and almost all procedures can be done locally by US trained physicians.
Expect to be frequently ill in Lima. I <3 Cipro. It is helpful to take a probiotic as well.
For travel to the highlands, altitude sickness is a real concern and you will not know if you are affected by it until you get there. Obese chain smokers can be fine while young cross country runners can suffer - you never know. Best to be on the safe side and take the medication and make sure to stay hydrated. It is best to avoid alcohol for the first few days. - Jul 2016
Yes. I was sick so often, I've never been sick like I have at this post. Medical care is generally good if you choose the right hospital, and not expensive. You will get food poisoning several times, or at least a few stomach bugs. Hygiene is not great and people don't wash their hands here very often, so even in a nice restaurant you can get sick. - Sep 2015
E coli is rampant in Peru, and several people have suffered long-term from this illness. There really is no treatment for this--just rest (for months). The US Navy maintains a tropical-disease research laboratory and will test US Embassy personnel for free, so the test results are rock-solid reliable. Medical care is not great here, so the 15% differential is well-justified. Doctors have been known not to show up for medical appointments. Altitude sickness is a major issue in visiting tourist locations outside of Peru. Only some are within driving distance, others are flights away. Take precautions prior to visiting high-altitude places, and when feeling weak, light-headed, or ill, do not be embarrassed to request oxygen. Stay only in hotels that have oxygen by request. - Sep 2015
I mentioned the mosquito-borne illnesses in the jungle - malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya are all possible. Use precautions as necessary. Most tourists will run into gastrointestinal issues, either from the water or perhaps from fresh, unwashed produce. Solution: drink bottled water and be a little careful what you eat. I found that eating a lot of yogurt when I first arrived in Peru helped to gently introduce local bacteria into my system. There are some excellent medical facilities in Lima, particularly in Miraflores and San Isidro. I broke my arm here and felt that the surgery and care I received from American-educated doctors was every bit as good as that in the States. - May 2015
There are altitude issues when traveling to the mountain regions. - Apr 2015
Health problems are terrible during the winter, when it is cold and humid. Medical care seems good. - Sep 2014
The pollution isn't Beijing but the constant soot and filth will take its toll. I never had allergies until moving here, not an uncommon complaint. The best hospitals are good, but stay away from anything that isn't top tier. Doctors are good and charge the same price as the U.S. - Apr 2014
Health care is okay. Dental care is decent. If it's something minor, I would feel comfortable receiving treatment in Lima. Anything more complicated, I would not trust the medical system here. - Mar 2014
Great medical care available, although many leave post to give birth. - Aug 2013
There's good health care easily available in Lima, less so in other parts of the country. - Jul 2013
Pollution and food poisoning are the biggies. Medical care is decent. Dentists are generally quite good. - Jul 2013
Yes, allergies are a huge problem. And medical care is mediocre, even if you go to the best clinics in town. Our daughter had allergy problems for months, and the fourth doctor she saw was finally able to deal with it. Doctors will often give you a wrong diagnosis. - Jun 2013
Aside from sneezing, and the prevalence of people with allergies to the humidity, I know of no other health concerns. In contrast to other countries where I have been, gastrointestinal infections and their unpleasant symptoms are not quite as common. - Jan 2012
None really. Dry climate with bring on a cough and some sinus troubles. Some people with get a cold or flu during their stay. Medical care is excellent and very available. Most of the servers were trained in America. prices are much better than in the States. - Jan 2012
Medical care is good, dentists/orthos also good and reasonable. - Aug 2011
There are quite a few very good private health clinics. Good dentists. And not as expensive as in the USA. Many people get plastic and Lasik surgery whike here. - Jul 2010
Basic health care is adequate, relative to the specififc area of need. Liposuction is cheap and for good reason, it's dangerous here. - Jun 2010
Very good medical care, many experience stomach problems that seem to never go away. I would take a huge supply of PeptoBismal and lots of Nyquil for those winter sniffles. - Jul 2008
Medical care is hit or miss depending upon the facilities and doctors you use. There are excellent resources available and recommendations from current residents is the best route to take when seeking medical care. - Apr 2008