Find Health and Medical expertise in Antigua and Barbuda

The country is divided into six medical districts and a district medical officer is appointed to provide medical services in each district. The provision of primary health care is delivered through health centres that are located within a 3-km radius of every major settlement.

The country’s public health system has a National Drug Formulary that provides a total of 360 different drugs, guaranteeing availability of medication to all people suffering from chronic conditions. In 2010, the three most prominent known causes of death for children below the age of five were birth asphyxia (32%), premature births (16%) and injuries (12%). The Ministry of Health is responsible for the health of the nation and is financed mainly through allocations from the Ministry of Finance.

In 2008, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 80% of all mortality, of which cardiovascular diseases were most prevalent, accounting for 36% of total deaths across all age groups.

A government paper on HIV/AIDS reported that there were 755 people living with HIV in the country in 2013. Antigua and Barbuda is a non-endemic country for malaria. Estimated incidences of tuberculosis (TB) increased dramatically in the period 1990–2013. Estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) from TB fluctuated slightly in the period 1998–2013.

Government expenditure

Only a quarter of health care in Antigua and Barbuda (25%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2012.

In 2013 government expenditure on health was 3% of GDP. In the most recent survey conducted, between 1997 and 2009, there were 17 doctors, and 328 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in the period 2007–12, 99% of births were attended by qualified health staff and in 2013, 98% of one-year-olds were immunised with one dose of measles.

Public health care is financed mainly through allocations from the Ministry of Finance.

In June 2014 the government released the Report on the Draft Strategy for Universal Health Coverage. The report identified four strategic lines for guiding the transformation of health systems on the islands, namely: expanding equitable access to comprehensive, quality and people-and-community-centred health services; strengthening stewardship and governance; increasing and improving financing, without out-of-pocket expenditures, with equity and efficiency; and taking inter-sectoral action on the social determinants of health.

Antigua and Barbuda is not a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the covenant that commits signees to ensuring ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’.

Health and Medical organisations in Antigua and Barbuda
Fiennes Institute
St John's Hospital Project Team