Find Health and Medical expertise in Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago has three general hospitals, two district hospitals, four specialist hospitals and more than 100 health centres. The private health sector is smaller and includes a variety of private health care providers, including physicians, dentists, pharmacists and opticians. There are various distribution and retail pharmaceutical operations in the country.
Public health care in Trinidad and Tobago is free for all citizens and is financed by the government and taxpayers. Dental care is provided free of charge to under-18s, with free emergency care is also available for those older than 18; free dental treatment is, in some cases, also extended to new mothers and the elderly. Non-residents of Trinidad and Tobago are provided with free health treatment for injuries only.
Communicable and non-communicable disease
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Trinidad and Tobago accounted for an estimated 80% of all mortality in 2012. The most prevalent NCDs in Trinidad and Tobago are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 32% of total deaths across all age groups in 2008. Cancer, diabetes and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 16%, 15% and 3% to total mortality, respectively (2012). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions in Trinidad and Tobago accounted for an estimated 9% of all mortality in 2012. The prevalence of HIV in Trinidad and Tobago, as a percentage of people aged 15–49 years, stood at 1.7% in 2012. HIV prevalence in Trinidad and Tobago has risen since 1990, although the rate of its growth decreased in the period 2000–12. Trinidad and Tobago is a non-endemic country for malaria. The estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) doubled in the period 1990–2010, before decreasing slightly in 2010–12. During the same time estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) from the disease saw a slight overall decrease.
In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2010, there were 118 doctors, and 356 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in 2012, 100% of births were attended by qualified health staff and in 2013, 91% of one-year-olds were immunised with a dose of measles. In 2014, 95% of people were using an improved drinking water source and 92% had access to adequate sanitation facilities. The most recent survey, conducted in the period 2000–11, reports that Trinidad and Tobago has 49 pharmaceutical personnel per 100,000 people.
Half of all health care in Trinidad and Tobago (50%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities – such as private insurers, charities or employers – in 2012. Total health expenditure constituted 5.4% of GDP in 2012, of which 50% (US$490 per capita) was covered by the government. In 2013 public expenditure on health care was 3% of GDP.
Trinidad and Tobago was not an original signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but acceded to it in 1978 and has written the covenant into law. It includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.