Tongans receive free medical and dental treatment, but must pay for dentures. Non-Tongans are charged on a fixed scale. There is one government medical department hospital each in Tongatapu, Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Eau Island, with several dispensaries. There are 4 hospitals and 14 health care centers, with a total of 307 beds on the islands. In 1991, Tonga had 49 physicians. In 1997 there were 0.4 physicians, 3.2 nurses, 0.3 midwives, and 0.09 dentists per 1,000 people.
Tonga is free of malaria and most tropical diseases, but tuberculosis, filariasis, typhoid fever, dysentery, and various eye and skin diseases remain common health problems. Nevertheless, in comparison with many other Pacific islands, Tonga is a healthy country. Approximately 85% of children were vaccinated against measles in 1994. By 1969, a joint WHO-UNICEF project had considerably reduced the incidence of yaws. Other health projects deal with school sanitation, community water supplies, maternal and child health, and nursing education. The population has access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
There were no cases of polio, malaria, or neonatal tetanus in 1994. Tuberculosis was seen in only 23 cases in 1994. Twelve AIDS cases were reported in 1999, with eight resulting in death from the disease.
Life expectancy as of 2002 was estimated at 68.6 years. In the same year, infant mortality was an estimated 13.7 per 1,000 live births. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 24 and 5.6 per 1,000 people. The fertility rate was three children per woman.