Country: Amid calypso rhythms, white sand beaches, and azure blue seas is Barbados, a sovereign island nation located in the North Atlantic among the Lesser Antilles. The island’s area is 167 square miles or 432 square kilometers and sits outside the Atlantic hurricane belt. It is located 62 miles east of the Caribbean Sea and the Windward Islands, 104 miles east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 250 miles to the northeast of Trinidad and Tobago.
The capital of this island nation is Bridgetown. The official language of the country’s 278,000 residents is English, but Bajan is an officially recognized regional language.
To access emergency services: Dial 211 or 511 for medical emergencies
Currency: Barbadian dollars (BBD)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Barbados, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
What to expect in a Barbados hospital: Barbados provides a high standard of health care. The main facility on the island is Queen Elizabeth Hospital; although the care is high quality, the wait time for ambulance service and emergency room services is long.
Private clinics and local physicians may offer faster care and services. Doctors and medical personnel are fluent in English. Both hospitals and doctors will expect cash payment when services are provided.
Medical issues of a serious nature requiring hospitalization and evacuation to the United States are quite expensive, ranging into the thousands of dollars.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Barbados: To read about specific facilities which are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Barbados - specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or WHO for up-to-date travel notices.