When you have an emergency the best thing to do is to call a trusted contact if you do not speak Spanish and do not have a broker. Why call a trusted contact? you should have a trusted contact that can help you by calling 911 if you do not have medical insurance in Ecuador and you need public attention, but the attention will be exclusively in Spanish. If you are lucky you can find attention in your language. The best option is to ask for help so that they can give the address of your home or the place where you are, describe your symptoms, and they can provide information about your condition, if it is critical or an emergency that can be controlled from home.
When you do not have a private medical insurance in Ecuador the waiting times are longer, since the health centers due to the pandemic are generally collapsed and access to a public health service can become more complex than you expect, since you will have to wait in the emergency rooms for several hours as is the case of the IESS. In this place your emergency will depend on the severity of your symptoms – if it is mild, severe or chronic. If the health center has the necessary information about your condition, and if the health center has several patients waiting you could wait up to four hours, but if the place is clear it could be an hour or two. The attention will be in Spanish and if someone speaks English he/she will be able to help you in your language.
if you have a private health insurance it will depend on the company you are insured with to provide you with the best service, but most of the prepaid health insurance companies in Ecuador have good coverage and wide networks that can provide you with immediate attention. If your emergency can not wait you can go to any clinic that is in agreement with your insurance company and present your ID card or passport in the emergency area so that the person who is in emergency can report your emergency and the company authorizes a payment for your care so that you only cover your expenses for deductible and non-covered expenses (diapers, infusions, gowns, gloves, etc.). If your emergency occurs on a weekend, you will probably have to pay for your care and submit it later under reimbursement. For this process you will need sheet 008, original invoices, medical history in case of hospitalization, since the companies are closed on weekends and holidays in Ecuador.
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