El Salvador healthcare system has two sectors: the public and the private. Most Salvadorans are covered by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS) and the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security (ISSS), both from the public sector.
The public sector includes the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security (ISSS), the Salvadoran Institute for Rehabilitation of the Invalids (ISRI), Military Health, the Salvadoran Institute of Teacher Welfare (ISBM) and the Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD).
The private healthcare sector is made up of for-profit institutions and non-profit organizations. The for-profit institutions are based primarily in the principal Salvadoran cities. On the other hand, non-profit organizations, such as NGOs, churches, and others, operate mainly in rural areas of El Salvador.
El Salvador’s Public Healthcare System
The Salvadoran public healthcare sector is composed of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security (ISSS), the Salvadoran Institute for Rehabilitation of the Invalids (ISRI), Military Health, the Salvadoran Institute of Teacher Welfare (ISBM) and the Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD).
Public Health and Social Assistance Healthcare (MSPAS)
The Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), part of the Ministry of Health, gives free medical assistance to anyone who needs it. This healthcare system is used by workers in the informal sector, those unemployed, and people living in poverty.
The Public Health and Social Assistance MSPAS services are carried out at three levels. The first level of healthcare is the health units, health houses, and rural health and nutrition centers.
The second care level is provided by the national and regional hospitals. Finally, the third level is given by specialized national hospitals (hospitals for medicine and surgery, pediatrics, gynecology, obstetrics, psychiatry, and pulmonology).
This Salvadoran public healthcare system has departmental, regional, and specialty hospitals. It also has healthcare centers in heavily populated areas and clinics for smaller or rural communities.
El Salvador Public Hospitals
El Salvador’s public healthcare system has 31 hospitals across the territory classified as departmental, regional, and specialty. These hospitals are part of the Public Health and Social Assistance Healthcare system.
The public hospitals are all located in densely populated areas and offer essential health services; however, the regional and departmental hospitals provide more specialized medical services.
Departmental hospitals are located in the department’s capital cities and areas with high population concentrations. Departmental hospitals offer all the essential health services and some specialties.
|1||Ahuachapan||Ahuachapan||Hospital Dr. Francisco Menendez||(503)2445-6800||Webpage|
|2||Sonsonate||Sonsonate||Hospital Dr. Jorge Mazzini Villacorta||(503)2891-6500|
|3||Santa Ana||Metapan||Hospital Dr. Arturo Morales||(503)2891-6000|
|4||Santa Ana||Chalchuapa||Hospital of the city of Chalchuapa||(503)2891-4500||Webpage|
|5||Chalatenango||Chalatenango||Hospital Dr. Luis Edmundo Vasquez||(503)2393 9010||Webpage|
|6||Chalatenango||Nueva Concepcion||Hospital of the city of Nueva Concepcion||(503)2991-0500||Webpage|
|7||La Libertad||Santa Tecla||Hospital San Rafael||(503) 2594-4000||Website|
|8||San Salvador||Zacamil||Hospital Dr. Juan Jose Fernandez||(503)2594-5000|
|9||San Salvador||San Marcos||Hospital Dr. José Antonio Saldaña||(503)2201-2101||Webpage|
|10||San Salvador||Soyapango||General & Psychiatry Hospital Dr. Jose Molina Martínez||(503)2327-0200||Webpage|
|11||San Salvador||San Bartolo||Hospital Angélica Vidal de Najarro||(503)2201-3100||Webpage|
|12||Cuscatlan||Cojutepeque||Hospital “Nuestra Señora de Fatima”||(503)2991-2201||Webpage|
|13||Cuscatlan||Suchitoto||Hospital of Suchitoto||(503)2347-4700||Webpage|
|14||San Vicente||San Vicente||Hospital Santa Gertrudis||(503)2393-9500|
|15||La Paz||Zacatecoluca||Hospital Santa Teresa||(503)2347-1200|
|16||Cabañas||Ilobasco||Ilobasco National Hospital||(503)2347-5000|
|17||Cabañas||Sensuntepeque||Hospital “San Jeronimo Emiliani”||(503)2361-0700||Webpage|
|18||Usulutan||Jiquilisco||Hospital of Jiquilisco||(503)2684-3300|
|19||Usulutan||Usulutan||Hospital San Pedro||(503)2792-0000|
|20||Usulutan||Santiago de Maria||Hospital Dr. Jorge Arturo Mena||(503)2684-0200||Webpage|
|21||San Miguel||Ciudad Barrios||Hospital Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez||(503)2792-2200||Webpage|
|22||San Miguel||Nueva Guadalupe||Hospital Nueva Guadalupe||(503)2645-2238||Webpage|
|23||Morazan||San Francisco Gotera||Hospital Dr. Hector Antonio Hernandez Flores||(503)2645-7100||Webpage|
|24||La Union||Santa Rosa de Lima||Hospital of Santa Rosa de Lima||(503)2792-4400||Webpage|
|25||La Union||La Union||Hospital of La Union||(503)2792-5000||Webpage|
The Salvadoran public healthcare system has two regional hospitals, one in the western part of the country in Santa Ana and the other in the Eastern area of El Salvador in San Miguel.
Both regional Hospitals are responsible for the coordination of the hospitals that make up each of the Regions. These hospitals offer a higher level of care and specialty than departmental hospitals.
|26||Santa Ana||Santa Ana||Hospital San Juan de Dios||(503)2891-5000||Webpage|
|27||San Miguel||San Miguel||Hospital San Juan de Dios||(503)2792-3000||Webpage|
The National Specialized Hospitals offer highly complex medical services. To receive care in one of these hospitals, the patient must have a referral from one of the departmental or regional hospitals.
|28||San Salvador||San Salvador||Children’s hospital Benjamín Bloom||(503)2133-3100||Webpage|
|29||San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital for Women Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez||(503)2206-6212||Webpage|
|30||San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital El Salvador for COVID-19||(503)2594-2100||Webpage|
|31||San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital Rosales||(503)2231-9200||Webpage|
Public Healthcare Centers
The Salvadoran public healthcare system has healthcare centers located in cities or municipalities with large populations. They provide specialized and preventive health services, such as family care, dental, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and internal medicine.
To use public health care centers, the patient must first make an appointment and follow all the necessary steps to become a patient. These healthcare centers provide preventive health services to many Salvadorans; however, it has problems.
The most significant problem is slow, delayed medical care. For example, waiting five hours or longer for a general consultation is normal. Also, these centers don’t have enough medical healthcare professionals; therefore, waiting more than two months for an appointment is normal.
Healthcare centers are free and available to anyone; however, be prepared to wait a long time to get your initial appointment or an appointment with a medical specialist.
Community Public Clinics
Community clinics are the last part of the El Salvador healthcare system. These free clinics are located in smaller communities and some in rural areas. These clinics offer the most basic healthcare services; many of them only open a few days per week.
The Social Insurance Healthcare System “El Seguro Social”
The Social Insurance Healthcare System or El Seguro Social (ISSS) provides health services to all public and private employees and their families who are members.
This healthcare system is part of the government’s public healthcare; however, it works and operates as a separate entity from the public healthcare sector.
To receive health services at one of these facilities, the individual needs to be a contributing member. To become a member, the person must be a public sector employee or work for a private company that operates formally and is registered with the Social Insurance Healthcare System (El Seguro Social).
Businesses that operate informally do not offer this insurance benefit to their employees. More than 70 percent of jobs in El Salvador are in the informal market.
The main contributor or insured person can add family members to his insurance plans, such as a spouse and underage kids.
This insurance is mandatory for any employee who works for a private business that is properly registered, and it is also obligatory for all public employees.
The insurance fee is paid between the employee and the employer. The employee is responsible for a smaller percentage of the monthly payment, and the employer pays the remaining balance.
This healthcare system has hospitals and clinics, most of which are in the San Salvador metropolitan area. It also has smaller clinics or health centers in heavily populated areas outside San Salvador.
Salvadoran Institute for Rehabilitation of the Invalids (ISRI)
The Salvadoran Institute for Rehabilitation of the Invalids (ISRI) is an autonomous institution whose purpose is to provide specialized rehabilitation services to people with disabilities.
Military Healthcare offers social health protection to the armed forces.
Salvadoran Institute of Teacher Welfare (ISBM)
The Salvadoran Institute of Teacher Welfare (ISBM) is an official autonomous entity under public law that covers the teaching population and their families.
Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD)
The Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD) is a public entity in force since 2004. FOSALUD has full autonomy both financially and administratively; the entity is budgetarily attached to the MSPAS healthcare system.
FOSALUD’s objectives are to promote the creation of special programs to expand the coverage of health services. It formulates and executes comprehensive programs that address the basic health needs of the country’s most vulnerable population and promotes health education campaigns.
Private Healthcare System in El Salvador
The Salvadoran private healthcare sector has for-profit institutions and non-profit organizations. For-profit institutions offer services in the private market to the population that can afford them.
El Salvador’s private for-profit healthcare system has hospitals and clinics in larger cities, such as the San Salvador metropolitan area, San Miguel, and Santa Ana.
It is believed that this sector has hospitals with better equipment and offers better services. However, these facilities are expensive and mainly used by wealthy people or those with insurance.
The private system is there for anyone who can pay for their services. This system is also available through insurance policies. Most Salvadorans can’t afford these private facilities; therefore, they use the public healthcare system.
Non-profit organizations (NGOs, churches, and others), for their part, operate mainly in rural areas of El Salvador.
El Salvador Healthcare System
El Salvador’s healthcare system has been considered poor, mainly in the public sector. If given a choice, most Salvadorans would prefer the private sector; however, because of the cost, most people opt for the public system.
Even though the public healthcare system has many hospitals, clinics, and care centers, the quality of healthcare they provide is deemed inadequate. Many facilities have low-grade medical equipment, are almost always understaffed, and often run out of medicine.