El Salvador healthcare system is distributed into three unique sectors, the public or universal, the social insurance or El Seguro Social, and the private sector. All three Salvadoran healthcare systems have hospitals and clinics; however, the public or universal system is the one used by most Salvadorans.
The Universal or public healthcare system is by far the most popular. It has hospitals, clinics, and health care centers scattered all over the territory.
The Social Insurance healthcare system or El Seguro Social is the one assigned to public and private employees. These employees pay a monthly insurance fee.
The private sector offers excellent care, and it has good hospitals. However, since it is expensive to use, it serves a small percentage of the Salvadoran population.
El Salvador’s Public Healthcare System
The public healthcare system in El Salvador or Universal health care gives free medical assistance to anyone who needs it.
This system has departmental, regional, and specialty hospitals. It also has health care centers in heavily populated areas and clinics for smaller communities.
El Salvador Public Hospitals
The Salvadoran public hospitals are classified as departmental, regional, and specialty. They are all located in densely populated areas.
The departmental hospitals are located in the capital cities of each department and in areas with high population concentration. Departmental hospitals have greater capacity in terms of specialties, technology, and infrastructure.
|Ahuachapan||Ahuachapan||Hospital Dr. Francisco Menendez|
|Sonsonate||Sonsonate||Hospital Dr. Jorge Mazzini Villacorta|
|Santa Ana||Metapan||Hospital Dr. Arturo Morales|
|Santa Ana||Chalchuapa||Hospital of the city of Chalchuapa|
|Chalatenango||Chalatenango||Hospital Dr. Luis Edmundo Vasquez|
|Chalatenango||Nueva Concepcion||Hospital of the city of Nueva Concepcion|
|La Libertad||Santa Tecla||Hospital San Rafael|
|San Salvador||Zacamil||Hospital Dr. Juan Jose Fernandez|
|San Salvador||San Marcos||Hospital Dr. José Antonio Saldaña|
|San Salvador||Soyapango||General & Psychiatry Hospital Dr. Jose Molina Martínez|
|San Salvador||San Bartolo||Hospital Angélica Vidal de Najarro|
|Cuscatlan||Cojutepeque||Hospital “Nuestra Señora de Fatima”|
|Cuscatlan||Suchitoto||Hospital of Suchitoto|
|San Vicente||San Vicente||Hospital Santa Gertrudis|
|La Paz||Zacatecoluca||Hospital Santa Teresa|
|Cabañas||Ilobasco||Hospital Dr. José Luís Saca|
|Cabañas||Sensuntepeque||Hospital “San Jeronimo Emiliani”|
|Usulutan||Jiquilisco||Hospital of Jiquilisco|
|Usulutan||Usulutan||Hospital San Pedro|
|Usulutan||Santiago de Maria||Hospital Dr. Jorge Arturo Mena|
|San Miguel||Ciudad Barrios||Hospital Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez|
|San Miguel||Nueva Guadalupe||Hospital Nueva Guadalupe|
|Morazan||San Francisco Gotera||Hospital Dr. Hector Antonio Hernandez Flores|
|La Union||Santa Rosa de Lima||Hospital of Santa Rosa de Lima|
|La Union||La Union||Hospital of La Union|
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.
|Santa Ana||Santa Ana||Hospital San Juan de Dios|
|San Miguel||San Miguel||Hospital San Juan de Dios|
The National Specialized Hospitals offer high complex services. To receive care in one of these hospitals, the patient must have a referral from one of the departmental or regional hospitals.
|San Salvador||San Salvador||Children’s hospital Benjamín Bloom|
|San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital for Women Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez|
|San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital El Salvador for COVID-19|
|San Salvador||San Salvador||Hospital Rosales|
El Salvador Public Health Care Centers
El Salvador public health care centers are located in cities or municipalities with large populations. They provide specialized and preventive health services.
These health care centers provide services such as family care, dental, pediatrics, ophthalmology, internal medicine, and others.
In order to use the public health care centers, the patient must first make an appointment and then go from there.
Health care centers are a good concept; however, it has problems. The most significant problem is slow, delayed medical care.
For example, waiting 5 or more hours for a general consultation is normal. Also, since there is a lack of health care professionals for these centers, it is normal to wait for 3 months or more for an appointment.
Health care centers are free and available to anyone; however, be prepared to wait a long time to get your initial appointment.
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.
Community clinics offer the most basic health care services. Some of these clinics are only open a few days per week.
Is Public healthcare in El Salvador good?
El Salvador’s public healthcare system is considered poor. Even though the health care system has many hospitals, clinics, and care centers, the quality of healthcare they provide is deemed inadequate.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on El Salvador’s healthcare system flaws and inadequate facilities.
Many of these facilities have inadequate medical equipment, are almost always understaffed, and often run out of medicine.
The public hospitals, health care centers, and clinics are managed and regulated by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare or
The Social Insurance Healthcare System or El Seguro Social
The Social Insurance Healthcare System or El Seguro Social serves all public and private employees and their families who are members.
This health care sector is part of the government; however, it works and operates as a separate entity from the public health care sector.
To receive care at one of their facilities, the person must be a member. To become a member, the person must be a public sector employee or work for a private company that operates formally.
Businesses that operate informally do not offer this insurance benefit to their employees. About 70 percent of jobs in El Salvador are in the
The insured person can add family members to his insurance plans, such as wife or husband and underage kids.
This insurance is mandatory for any employee that works for a private business that is properly registered. It is also obligatory for all public employees.
The monthly fee paid to be a member of the social insurance health system is paid by the employee and the employer.
The employee is responsible for a smaller percentage of the monthly fee, 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 of San Salvador.
Private Healthcare System in El Salvador
El Salvador’s private healthcare system has hospitals and clinics located in the larger cities, such as 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 that 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.
El Salvador Hhealthcare System
Over the last 30 plus years, the El Salvador 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.