Health care and medicine are free of charge in Kiribati. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of KIR and acronym for Kiribati. Hospitals are located in southern Tarawa, local health centers on the other islands. In total, in 1993 there was one doctor per 7,687 residents and about 40 beds per 10,000 residents. Social insurance then included retirement and disability pensions and occupational injury insurance.
The traditional social hierarchy is still evident when the eldest son’s social and economic status is higher than that of the siblings. The land belongs to the large families, which are the basis of the social organization. As the population grows, the pressure on resources increases. This is evident, among other things, in the fact that poverty and deficiency diseases are becoming more and more common, especially in southern Tarawa, where Kiribati’s only urban area is located. In different ways, efforts are being made to move from there to northern Tarawa, to islands in the Phoenix group and to the Line Islands in the far east, where development opportunities are considered.