First aid assistance, which includes ambulance service and medication, is provided free of charge to anyone, including visitors to the country by the public system. If it is necessary to remain hospitalized as a consequence of surgery or for any other reason, fees are charged according to the economic status of the patient and the service that is provided.
It is possible to subscribe for private healthcare that provides partial coverage for emergency care, or to just purchase an emergency service plan. The mobile emergency firms have their own emergency telephone numbers, clinics, call centers, and ground ambulances. They can also provide diagnostic procedures, non-complex medical and surgical admissions, and dentistry services.
The most well known of these mobile emergency firms are Suat (suat.com.uy), which has been operating since the nineties, Systema de Emergencia Medico Movil (SEMM – semm.com.uy), and Unidad Coronaria Móvil (UCM – ucm.com.uy), which has operated in Uruguay for over 30 years. These private mobile emergency firms link with the public emergency 911-telephone number. Often emergency call center operators will send the nearest ambulance to the scene, regardless of whether it is a public or private vehicle.
Some hospitals arrange emergency coverage with these firms when admitting applicants to their own private insurance plans. For example, Hospital Británico can combine its hospital scheme with mobile emergency coverage with any of the three aforementioned firms.
Patient transfers to other countries can be very expensive, however, serious medical problems may require air transport of patients to destinations such as Buenos Aires in Argentina or Sao Paulo in Brazil. There are several private air ambulance companies that can stabilize and transport critical patients, such as Aeromás (aeromas.com), which operates out of Montevideo, and SEMM.
Emergency phone numbers
|Montevideo city ambulance||
|Police or general emergency||
|Police radio patrol||