Government health facilities include general hospitals in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando, small district hospitals, several major health centers, dental service centers, a mental hospital, and a nurses' training school. In the mid-1990s, there were more than 900 physicians, about 560 pharmacists, and over 100 dentists. The population per physician was 1,200 in 1998. As of 1999, there were an estimated 0.8 physicians and 5.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.
The general health of the population has been improving; substantial decreases have been recorded in the death rates for malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid, and syphilis. Immunization rates for children up to one year old in 1997 were diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 90%; polio, 81%; and measles, 88%. Improvements in sanitation have reaped impressive health benefits. In 2000, 86% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 88% had adequate sanitation. As a result, reported cases of dysentery and hookworm have declined dramatically.
As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 13.7 and 8.8 per 1,000 people. Average life expectancy was 73 years in 2000 and infant mortality was 16 per 1,000 live births. Maternal mortality was 75 per 1,000 live births in 1997.
As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 7,800 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 530. HIV prevalence was 1.1 per 100 adults.