While Agadir and Marrakech are the main tourist attractions in Morocco in winter, coastal resorts such as Casablanca, Rabat and again Agadir are particularly popular in the summer months.
As beautiful as the country is, the European encounters a completely different world with different customs and traditions, for example when eating. The most common health problems for Morocco travelers range from mild stomach upsets to severe diarrhea. Sometimes the medicine in the first-aid kit is not enough and a doctor is needed.
How the health care system works in Morocco?
In Morocco, medical care is divided into a public and a private sector: The public health and insurance system is called AMO (Assurance Maladie Obligatoire) and is actually only accessible to Moroccan citizens. In addition, there is RAMED, a facility for the socially disadvantaged. If you are traveling in Morocco on vacation or business, you will always be referred to private doctors, which is not a problem in the big cities, but it is in the countryside.
The Moroccan state spends less than half of what it spends in Germany on health care. Accordingly, Moroccan doctors are rather a rarity.
Whereas in Germany there is one doctor for every 207 inhabitants, in Morocco there are 1000 people who have to share one doctor, and this is even worse in the rural regions. The poor payment of the medical staff leads to the fact that a really adequate medical care can only be found in the big cities of the country in the private sector. By the way, if you know French, you are in good hands in Morocco; English, on the other hand, is usually only spoken by the staff of privately run medical practices.
What does a visit to the doctor in Morocco without international health insurance look like??
EU citizens do not need a visa or proof of vaccination or insurance to enter Morocco, their passport is sufficient. Whether you have health insurance or not, if you need a doctor in Morocco, you will have to pay for his or her services in cash. Currently, the average cost of treatment is about 400 dirhams, which is equivalent to about 37 euros.
In the country's tourist centers, most private doctors practice in group practices, often attached to a clinic. Those in rural areas can sometimes get away with cheaper payment, but there is also a risk of poorer treatment.
Especially cash doctors like to prescribe strong antibiotics, even so-called reserve antibiotics, which are actually only used for the most serious clinical infections. The reason for this lies in the state quota of various medicines and if these are not available, what is there is taken. In contrast to the general shortage of doctors, Morocco has a dense pharmacy network. In almost every large village there is a pharmacy, often located in the town hall.
What does a visit to the doctor in Morocco with international health insurance look like??
It is always advantageous to take out international health insurance before traveling to Morocco. This does not change the fact that the consultation with the doctor must be paid in cash, but the money is reimbursed by the insurance company upon presentation of a detailed doctor's bill. With an average medical bill of about 37 euros, direct billing by the insurance company is hardly necessary. If the illness is more serious, the doctor will arrange a referral to a clinic anyway, which then causes costs that can be much higher.
In such cases, it is quite possible that the clinic and the insurance company settle directly, which can be found out in advance from the respective insurance company. Apart from that, the international health insurance has the advantage that it often includes an international repatriation, i.e. an ambulance transport from Morocco to Germany, Austria or Switzerland, which makes it possible to cure the consequences of an illness or an accident in the home country.