Costa Rica is one of the most advanced countries in Central America. It has a considerable reputation for its incredible scenery, education, and modern living. However, what may come as a surprise is the very high quality of the Costa Rica healthcare system.

In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) placed Costa Rica 38th out of 167 countries in healthcare. This put Costa Rica in the top 3 Latin American countries. While the survey may have leaned towards particular qualities in a healthcare system that not everyone shares, it did demonstrate that Costa Rica is very dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible for its residents.

Costa Rica Healthcare: Private Options

The government of Costa Rica runs 30 hospitals and 250 clinics and has done so for nearly 60 years. However, as with most nationalized systems, some severe issues have yet to be fully addressed:

  • Long Waiting Periods;
  • Slow, Impersonal Service;
  • Outdated Hospitals.

However, a parallel private healthcare system grew outside the national system’s boundaries. This rapidly growing private healthcare system serves the Medical Tourism market, bringing in thousands of patients annually.

Since the turn of the 21st century, Costa Rica has developed a strong reputation for its cosmetic and dental surgery, which is a fraction of the cost compared to the United States. Costa Rica appeals to those in the US without insurance coverage to receive these procedures. As a result, people come in virtually every day to have excellent cosmetic and dental surgery.

A Low-Cost Cosmetic and Dental Surgery Alternative

A person who comes to Costa Rica can save 40% to 80% on cosmetic or dental surgery. There is a new rise in laparoscopic and orthopedic surgeries that are relatively inexpensive yet deliver the high-quality results found in the US.

Costa Rica has capitalized on this current trend in healthcare. The country attracts some of the best doctors, dentists, and surgeons. Plus, with the growing cost of insurance rates combined with decreasing benefits that US citizens see daily, it is little wonder that more people are coming to Costa Rica to have the treatments mentioned earlier performed. In addition, Costa Rica is also seeing a growing number of patients from Canada and the UK, thanks to the long waiting lines and rationing of healthcare as experienced in those countries.

Are you interested in the growing medical tourism industry in Costa Rica? Medical tourists can get the treatment they want at a fraction of the cost without waiting months.


-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]

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