Medical Tourism: Why Costa Rica’s At The Top

 

Medical Tourism Why You Should Choose Costa Rica
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So the popular vacation destination is good for more than just surfing some of the world’s best waves and drinking cute cocktails on the beach? That’s right. Around 40,000 tourists came to Costa Rica last year specifically to receive high quality medical care at a fraction of the price of their home country. If you ever needed an excuse to visit the tropical oasis of Costa Rica, here’s your chance.

 

Costa Rica is ranked time and time again as one of the world’s best destinations for medical tourism. Maybe it’s the professional, friendly doctors, the clean, state-of-the-art clinics, or the fact that you can receive medical attention for a fraction of the cost on the shores of paradise, no less. Whatever the reason, something about this itsy-bitsy Central American country keeps the medical tourists coming in droves and leaving with stories of success.

 

June 2012 Costa Rica
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Photo via Christian Arballo

 
 

Medical Tourism: Why Costa Rica’s At The Top

 

So what about Costa Rica makes it such a winner in the department of medical tourism?

 

If you’re considering receiving medical attention in a foreign country, it’s crucial to do prior research before making any decisions. When looking at countries for medical tourism, you should consider three key factors:

 

Convenience
Cost
Quality (and Safety)

 

A country’s rank based on these three factors will help you make the most effective choice.

Let’s take a look at how Costa Rica measures up in each area:

 
 

1. Convenience

 

Alone in the paradise
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Photo via Victor

 
 

Depending on where you’re from, Costa Rica may or may not be the most convenient option. One thing’s for sure, though, when it comes to medical tourism, you’ll want to choose a destination that’s convenient for you. Receiving medical attention is already stressful enough. Load on the lack of people speaking your native language, a foreign culture, a long flight, and maddening visa requirements and you might as well call a quits before you even begin.

 

Making convenience high on your priority list is sure to result in, overall, a much more pleasant experience. Where does Costa Rica rank on the convenience scale?

 

Proximity

Latin America is as convenient as it gets for those living in the US, South America, or Canada. Most people from the US can be in Costa Rica within just a few hours depending on your specific area and layover times. A flight from Miami, Florida to Costa Rica will take you just 2 hours and 45 minutes.

 

No Visa Required

For citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, and most European Countries there is no visa required to enter Costa Rica for a period of time between 30 and 90 days. All that’s needed is a valid passport and a return ticket to show.

 

Western Amenities Available

Costa Rica is known to be a favorite vacation destination and haven for expats. Along with the surge of foreigners, western amenities and products have made their way to Costa Rica. You might not find everything you’re used to, but it’s likely you’ll find yourself just as comfortable here as you would be back home.

 

English Speaking Doctors
You’ll have to be hard pressed to find a doctor that doesn’t speak great English. While you may have to whip out a couple Spanish phrases on the streets or with the reception staff, you will have no problem communicating with your doctor. In fact, lots of Costa Rican doctors were even trained in the US and Canada!

 

The Land Of The Pura Vida
Costa Rica’s life motto is “Pura Vida.” This is the country where living a pure life is the only option. Ticos (native Costa Ricans) are some of the happiest, friendliest people on the planet. On more than one occasion, Costa Rica ranked as the number one happiest nation in the world. Nothing takes the edge off of going to the doctor like being in the happiest country in the world!

 
 

2. Cost

 

Money
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Photo via 401(K) 2012

 
 

When you break down the costs, there’s really no question left that Costa Rica is the best choice. It’s truly astonishing how much money can be saved through medical tourism to Costa Rica.

 

On average, compared to the cost of health care in the US, medical tourists to Costa Rica save between 45% and 65%. Factor in the cost of flights, accommodation, and food… and you’re still saving money.

 

Still not convinced? Take a look at this awesome chart from The Medical Tourism Directory of Costa Rica and see how this sample of specific procedure costs add up:

 
 

Medical Tourism Cost
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While it might not be worth it to travel to Costa Rica for a single dental crown (unless you’re planning on vacationing after 😉 ) it would DEFINITELY be worth it to save nearly $100,000 for a heart bypass surgery.

 
 

3. Quality & Safety

 

Quality
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Photo via Elizabeth Hahn

 
 

What’s cost and convenience worth if there is no quality or safety? This is perhaps the most important aspect of your choice in medical tourism destinations.

 

You can find your complete guide to Safe Medical Tourism right here.

 

The vast majority of times you will find Costa Rica’s health industry excels in all areas of safety and quality. Patient’s Beyond Border’s describes Costa Rica as, “consistently ranked higher in healthcare than many of its industrialized counterparts including Canada and the United States.” That’s a bold statement considering it means you can get the same level of medical care in Costa Rica as you can in the US & Canada… for a mere fraction of the price.

 
 

When you break it all down, there’s really no question that Costa Rica is one of the best places you can go to receive medical attention. As medical costs continue to surge in the US and elsewhere, we have no doubt that more and more eyes will be turning to Costa Rica for their medical needs.

 

Do you have any experience in medical tourism, specifically in Costa Rica? Share your insight in the comments below!

 
 

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