Staying Healthy in St. Martin

Travelers can receive good medical care on St. Maarten and St. Martin

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St. Maarten and St. Martin both have good health care facilities available to travelers vacationing on the island.

Hotels will help vacationers locate English speaking hospitals and medical facilities and some hotels and resorts even have a physician on site. There is a hospital located in Philipsburg on the Dutch St. Maarten side and can be contacted at telephone number 599-54-31111 on the island. There is also a hospital located on the French St. Martin's capital of Marigot, which can be contacted at telephone number 590-87-50-07.

The hospitals on the island have three classifications of service: first class, which has one patient in a room with air conditioning; second class service has two to six patients in a room that doesn't have air conditioning; and third class service which has 15 to 30 people in a hall.

The pharmacies in St. Maarten are generally reliable, and can fill most travelers prescriptions and provide over-the-counter medicines. Here are the island's pharmacies and their locations and contact information;

Pharmacy Contact Info and Location
Caraibes 590-87-47-27 (in Cul-de-Sac, St. Martin)
Central Drugstore 599-542-5576 (in Philipsburg St. Maarten)
Chartus 590-87-99-46 (in Margot, St. Martin)
Grand Case 590-87-77-46 (in Grand Case St., Martin)
The Druggist 599-545-2777 (in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)

In case of emergency dial 18 or travelers can reach the police at telephone number 542-2111 and ambulance service at 542-2111 on the island.

There are no vaccination requirements to enter the countries of St. Maarten and St. Martin, but there are some vaccinations that vacationers should be up-to-date on before visiting the island including Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles.

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There is some safety information that vacationers should be aware of when vacationing in St. Maarten and St. Martin.

  • Traveler's diarrhea is the number one illness that effects people while on vacation. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that contaminate food and water. Before eating and drinking make sure you food and water are safe;

  • Wear insect repellent when spending time outside to avoid mosquito and other bug bites especially in the wake of the fact that several instances of chikungunya have been resported recently on the island;

  • When spending time in the sun be sure to wear sunscreen and clothing such as sun hats, sunglasses and long sleeved shirts to protect skin from harmful UV rays;

  • Drink plenty of water and non alcoholic beverages to keep your body hydrated. Also, pay attention for signs of heatstroke and over heating, like fatigue, feelings of extreme heat, dizziness, and faintness.

When traveling outside of your home country it is important that vacationers contact their insurance companies to see if they are covered while traveling abroad. Few insurance companies will cover the costs of medical evacuation from the island.  It is also wise to pack any prescription medications in your carry on luggage in their original containers (avoid the popular "Day of the Week" pill boxes), and include a note from your physician both listing your prescriptions and detailing the conditions that give you cause for bringing the prescriptions with you. 

You may also consider throwing together your own Traveler's Medical Kit, which should include the following items:

  • Painkillers including acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Antacids;
  • Topical disinfectant;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages;
  • Thermometer.

If your insurance company does not cover your trip to St. Maarten and St. Martin, vacationers can purchase travelers' insurance for their trip. Contact your insurance agent to find out which companies offer travelers' health insurance or check the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at http://travel.state.gov.medical/html.

 

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