Fast growing Medical Tourism in Costa Rica owes its existence to tourists from the US and Canada travelling primarily to get medical & surgical procedures done abroad. Many unique factors make Costa Rica healthcare a preferred medical travel destination.
Why Costa Rica as a Medical Tourism Destination?
Easily accessible from US and Canada. There are frequent flights from important cities in both these countries. Also Americans, Canadians and most Europeans staying in Costa Rica for less than 90 days do not require a visa. They do need a passport that is valid for at least 30 days.
Presence of top private accredited hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica. It is very common for leading doctors and surgeons in Costa Rica hospitals to have gained experience, certifications or trainings from the USA.
Traditionally, the procedures that have been popular with medical tourists in Costa Rica have been cosmetic and dental treatments. But with growing standards of medical care, there is rapid medical tourism demand for various other surgeries and medical procedures.
Vacationing with a Medical Trip to Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s unique geographic location – it has the Pacific ocean on the one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other – has endowed it with beautiful pristine beaches, lush green mountains formed by past volcanic eruptions, dense rainforests, lakes, and rivers. All these help support one of the most diverse plant and animal life on the planet. Costa Rica also has many active volcanoes and hot springs. Most medical tourism destination are not ideal for a vacation or a touristic holiday, not in the case of Costa Rica, which is not only a great medical care destination, but also a popular tourism destination.
Sometimes called ‘the Switzerland of Central America’, Costa Rica is famous for microclimates where in an hour’s travel one may experience from very hot and humid to hot and dry to cold and rainy.
If the doctor allows it and depending on what suits your temperament, you could take a peek at one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes like Arenal or one with the widest crater in the world like Poas, and bathe in the hot water springs, or visit the rainforests, wildlife parks, or go for a hike. Not to forget, the many beaches, butterfly gardens, river or lake tours, museums, fishing or scuba diving, coffee farm tours or even a visit to the National Theatre for someone into orchestra.
Costa Rican food
Unlike many other Latin American countries, the local food in Costa Rica is not spicy. For chicken connoisseurs, a must-try local dish is the wood fire roasted chicken.
For those who may miss good old American fast food, there are many franchise restaurants like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken that you can go to.
The Spirit of “Pura Vida” & Medical Tourism
Costa Rica is a foreigner-friendly country; it attracts over 2 million tourists every year. The phrase Pura Vida differently means “Full of Life”, “Purified life”, “This is living!” or “Going great!” and reflects the easy-going, relaxed lifestyle of Costa Ricans.
Costa Rica has a special police force called ‘Tourist Police’ that is just to assist the tourists with directions and answering questions.
A politically stable country, Costa Rica does not have an army. It has a high standard of living when compared to that of other Latin American countries and also a stable economy. It has a literacy rate of 96% and the lowest crime rates in the region. Many US and Canadian citizens and Europeans choose Costa Rica to lead their retired life because of the low cost of living, comfortable climate and its unspoiled natural habitats.
Health care in Costa Rica compares with the best in the world. It is no surprise then that the UNDP’s 2007/2008 Human Development Report puts the average life expectancy in Costa Rica at 78.5, above that of USA’s 77.9
JCI Accredited Hospitals in Costa Rica
- Post Surgery recovery resort
- JCI Accredited Hospital
- Recovery Resort Costa Rica
- Popular souvenirs to bring home from Costa Rica are the fresh-from-the-farm coffees and the variety of hand-crafted wooden items. It is illegal in Costa Rica to try to export any plants or animals or even sea shells or rocks.
Factors to consider – Medical Travel to Costa Rica
- Spanish is the main language in Costa Rica. But English is frequently used in tourist-frequented spots like hotels, resorts, leading hospitals and clinics. In hospitals, there are always interpreters available.
- At most places in Costa Rica, the American dollar is accepted.
- Most US cell phones do not work in Costa Rica. Before you set out from your home country, it is a good idea to check with your cell phone provider about the coverage and call rates in Costa Rica.
- Do not expect the blazing internet speeds that you may be used to in Canada or USA.
- Travellers should use licensed taxis, which are red with medallions (yellow triangles containing numbers) painted on the side. Licensed taxis at the airport are painted orange.
Medical Tourism Corporation has arranged with its network hospitals in Costa Rica to have special guest suites designed to comfortably accommodate the patient and the accompanying guest while in the hospital. Also, MTC has made special arrangements with recovery resorts that have 24 x 7 nursing for any post-hospital discharge care, with adequate arrangement for the comfort of the accompanying guest. There is always an English-speaking personal case manager at the medical destination.
So, if you are looking for medical care abroad, Costa Rica is one of the places to consider seriously. Even if you are just planning a vacation, you may go to Costa Rica for pleasure and save some money by getting any pending medical or dental care done while there! There couldn’t be a better place than Costa Rica to recuperate and unwind.
Thus, medical tourism in Costa Rica is a complete package of health, fun, and savings. We hope this information will be a valuable aid on deciding on Costa Rica as a medical tourism destination of your choice.