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Brunei – Health Insurance

As an expat living in Brunei, it is important to understand the healthcare system in the country, including health insurance. This article will provide information on whether health insurance is mandatory in Brunei, how the state health insurance system works, and what it covers. It will also provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply to join the state health insurance system in Brunei. Finally, it will highlight the advantages of international private medical insurance for expats living in Brunei.

Health Insurance Requirements in Brunei

No, health insurance is not mandatory for residents of Brunei. However, it is highly recommended that residents have some form of health insurance to cover medical expenses.

State Health Insurance System in Brunei

The state health insurance system in Brunei is called the Brunei Darussalam National Healthcare System (BDNHS). It is a universal healthcare system that provides coverage to all citizens and permanent residents of Brunei. BDNHS is funded through taxes.

BDNHS covers a range of medical services, including primary care, specialist care, hospitalization, and emergency care. It also covers prescription medication, diagnostic tests, and medical equipment such as crutches and wheelchairs. Dental care is not covered by BDNHS, except for emergency dental care.

It is important to note that BDNHS does not cover everything. Some services, such as cosmetic surgery and some experimental treatments, are not covered by the system. In these cases, patients would need to pay for these services out of pocket or through private medical insurance.

Applying for State Health Insurance System in Brunei

All citizens and permanent residents of Brunei are eligible for BDNHS. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply:


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  1. Obtain a National Identity Card (IC): To apply for BDNHS, you need to have a valid National IC. You can obtain this card by visiting the National Registration and Immigration Department.

  2. Register with the Ministry of Health: Once you have your National IC, you will need to register with the Ministry of Health. You can do this by visiting a Ministry of Health office or by calling the Ministry of Health hotline.

  3. Choose a doctor: After registering with the Ministry of Health, you will need to choose a primary care physician. You can choose any doctor who participates in the BDNHS system.

  4. Receive your BDNHS card: Once you have completed the registration process and chosen a doctor, you will receive your BDNHS card. This card will be used to access healthcare services in Brunei.

Advantages of Private Medical Insurance in Brunei

While BDNHS provides coverage for most medical services, some expats may choose to have international private medical insurance for additional coverage and benefits. Here are some advantages of having private medical insurance:

  1. Greater flexibility: Private medical insurance provides greater flexibility in terms of choosing healthcare providers and treatment options.

  2. Additional services: Private medical insurance often covers additional services that may not be covered by BDNHS, such as alternative therapies and mental health services.

  3. Coverage outside of Brunei: Private medical insurance also provides coverage outside of Brunei, which can be useful for expats who travel frequently or have family members living in other countries.

  4. Shorter waiting times: Private medical insurance may also offer shorter waiting times for certain procedures or appointments.

  5. English-speaking doctors: For expats who may not speak the local language, private medical insurance can provide access to English-speaking doctors and healthcare providers.


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