Costa Rica is much more than a country replete with serene nature, clean beaches, and more flora and fauna than one can imagine. Medical tourism in Costa Rica is also becoming popular with overseas patients, particularly from the US and Canada. The National Health Expenditure Fact Sheet released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reveals that Americans spend nearly $300 billion out of their own pocket on medical expenses annually. With figures like this, it is no surprise that Americans are seeking affordable alternatives in places such as Costa Rica.
Types of Medical Procedures Available in Costa Rica
Medical tourists go to Costa Rica for a variety of different medical procedures. Some of the more common procedures include:
· Cosmetic Surgery. Buttock augmentation, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and liposuction are just a few types of cosmetic surgeries available in Costa Rica.
· Bariatric Surgery. Costa Rica is a popular destination for weight loss surgeries such as lap band and gastric bypass surgery.
· Dental Procedures. Implants, bridges, crowns, veneers, smile makeovers, and other dental procedures are about 50%-70% cheaper in Costa Rica than they are in the United States. Many Americans are getting dental work in Costa Rica.
Medical Standards in Costa Rica
One of the main concerns of any potential medical tourist is ensuring that he/she will get quality medical treatment abroad. Costa Rica is a hub for medical tourists not only for the huge savings incurred, but also because it has exceptionally high standards in the field of medicine. Medical tourists in Costa Rica will find:
· Well-trained Doctors. Many doctors in Costa Rica have been educated in the West. They also continue to update their education by attending international conferences and meets. Many of them have years of experience of treating patients from as far as Europe and are hence, sensitive to the needs of the overseas patients.
· Accredited Medical Facilities. As of March 2012, three hospitals in Costa Rica are accredited by the Joint Commission International. This is one of the most prestigious not-for-profit organizations assessing the quality of healthcare a medical facility provides. In addition to this, many other hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica are accredited by other agencies of repute.
· Hospitals Catering Almost Exclusively to Westerners. Costa Rica also has a number of medical facilities with foreigners making up more than 90% of their total patients. So you won’t feel like a fish out of water when in Costa Rica for your treatment. Chances are that you might find someone from your home state getting treated at the same hospital or clinic where you will be undergoing your treatment.
Medical Tourism in Costa Rica – Other Highlights
In addition to the aforementioned reasons, Costa Rica is a highly desirable medical tourism destination because of the following:
· Cost Effectiveness. Even after factoring in travel expenses, getting a medical procedure done in Costa Rica as opposed to in the US will usually cost less.
· Proximity. Costa Rica is just a short flight from most American cities. This makes the country a lot more accessible than other medical tourism destinations such as Thailand or India, which can be almost half a world away from your home country.
· Vacation Destination. In addition to everything else, Costa Rica is a great place for a relaxing vacation. You may not have taken the time to travel to Costa Rica before, but it’s one place you shouldn’t miss – and what better reason than to save money on medical expenses?
The medical tourism industry is growing in Costa Rica. Over the next few years, more and more Americans are expected to travel to Central America for affordable, high quality treatments.