Social security agreement
The social security agreement between Chile and Finland covers the national insurance and employee pension scheme as well as medical care for pensioners. Under the agreement, a person who receives a pension from Finland or Chile and who resides in the territory of the other party to the agreement is entitled to medical care on the same terms as pensioners covered by the legislation of the country of residence. Other categories of people temporarily in the country, such as tourists, are not entitled to medical care benefits in Chile.
Healthcare and medical care
Chile has both a public and a private healthcare system. Public hospitals are often poorly equipped. The doctors are nevertheless professional and highly trained. The same doctors often work partly in the public sector and partly in the private sector. The private clinics and hospitals in Santiago are of a high standard. A clínica is a private hospital, and a hospital is a public hospital. When travelling to Chile, you should take out comprehensive travel insurance.
The two biggest private hospitals of Santiago are Clínica Alemana and Clínica Las Condes. You can find more information of the health care services for foreigners living in Chile on the websites of these hospitals. Medical care in private institutions is expensive. In general, the biggest hospitals accept credit cards. In some situations, it is possible to pay by a bank transfer. Cash payments in hospitals are becoming more rare.
Chile has two health insurance systems. To enrol in one of the health insurance system, a Chilean ID card and number (RUT) are required. FONASA (Fondo Nacional de Salud) is the state’s public healthcare system intended only for Chilean citizens and those with a resident permit. There are both public hospitals and private clinics under FONASA. The private system is called ISAPREs (Instituciones de Salud Previsional), and it consists of several companies offering ISAPRE health insurances. ISAPREs offer a higher-class service that is somewhat more expensive and less congested than the FONASA system. Both systems provide emergency treatment when required.
Dental care is of high quality in Chile and often somewhat less expensive than in Finland. Several private clinics offer dental care services. The public health care centres (consultorios) also offer dental care services, but they are mainly intended for permanent residents.
Prescription medicines prescribed by local doctors as well as prescription-free medicines are widely available from pharmacists. In general, medicines are expensive, but pharmacies also sell considerably less expensive generic medicines on request.