Medical Services

Information about the medical care available, hospitals, health centers and emergency services for foreigners in Colombia…

The Compulsory Health Plan (Plan Obigatorio de Salud - POS) includes cover for the following:

  • Emergency care
  • Medical consultations, with both GPs and specialist doctors
  • X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Hospitalization and surgery
  • Care during maternity, childbirth and for newborns
  • Dental consultations and some treatments
  • Disease prevention programs
  • Treatment of long term diseases such as cancer, kidney failure and AIDS
  • Consultations with psychiatrists and psychologists
  • Some medication
  • Subsidies and payment for disabilities and maternity leave

Medicina Prepagada

An additional option called Medicina Prepagada, or pre-paid medical insurance, is available for those affiliated to an EPS. This provides complementary cover (Plan Complementario) with more benefits for the person registered with the EPS. Each EPS offers different plans for Medicina prepagada, with different prices, and works with specific health providers. The services, quality and costs vary from one to another.

To subscribe to Medicina Prepagada, the person has to choose an EPS and request an appointment for the registration process.


A referral from a GP is needed before seeing a specialist. However, this is not a requirement for those under the Medicina Prepagada scheme.

The insured person must see a doctor who is approved by the EPS scheme that they are affiliated to; if they choose to see a doctor not covered by their EPS, this is possible, but must be paid for by the insured person.

Payment methods for medical services depend on the EPS scheme. In some cases, the patient pays the fees and is reimbursed; other EPS schemes may pay the fees direct to the medical provider.


In Colombia every IPS (clinic or hospital) must provide immediate medical care to anyone who requires emergency medical attention. This includes:

  1. Stabilization of vital signs.
  2. Medical diagnosis.
  3. Transfer of the patient to a hospital or clinic affiliated with their EPS.

Each EPS provides a list of emergency numbers, clinics and hospitals so that the insured person can choose between them according to proximity or convenience.