Year to year, more and more Americans combine their Costa Rica vacations with medical care in that little country. Why? Because they have discovered that medical care in Costa Rica is now equal to that of the best hospitals in the States but at a shadow of the cost.
Only the best hospitals around the globe are certified and have Joint Commission International Accreditation, providing assurance that they meet the highest international benchmarks forhospital standards and patient care. Of the tens of thousands of hospitals, only a relative handful achieve the JCIA distinction—which brings us to Costa Rica medical tourism.
Exquisite Costa Rica, sometimes called “the Switzerland of Central America,” lies just a few hour flight from the United States. One of the oldest democracies in Latin and South America, it was discovered and named by Christopher Columbus more than 500 years ago. Though it encompasses about 1/10,000 of the world’s surface, it contains a staggering five percent of all the globe’s species of plants and animals and has been a popular eco tourism destination point for some years.
However, in addition to enjoying its magnificent beaches along two coasts, mighty volcanoes, great fishing and other outdoor activities, tourists have discovered that they can get very inexpensive world-class medical care with savings that more than pay for their Costa Rica vacation. Indeed, more than 25,000 people, mostly Americans, travel to this little country annually for Costa Rica medical tourism.
By now, most people know that American medical care is the costliest in the world—by a huge margin. And, for the nearly fifty million Americans without health insurance,injury is added to insult because many health care providers and hospitalscharge uninsured patients much more for services than folks who have good insurance. This is where Costa Rica medical care comes in for thousands of suffering American tourists. Why? Because they can save up to 65% in Costa Rica for the identical surgical carethey would receive in the United States-if they could afford it.
Three Costa Rica hospitals have JCI Accreditation. Those hospitals are La Catolica, Cima, and La Clinica Biblia, all in or very near to San Jose. Each has a wide range of surgical services and Board Certified physicians at great prices.
Here is one example. For patients without health insurance, total knee replacement surgery in the U.S. can cost more than $25,000. Clinica Biblica charges about $12,000.
Other examples abound. The three Costa Rica internationally accredited medical hospitals and board certified physicians—many of whom have studied and trained in the United States and at other world renowned universities—typically charge about $3,200 for breast augmentation. Lasik eye surgery that can run up to $5,000 in the States is often less than $2,000.
For more and more women wanting plastic surgery, Costa Rica is the answer. Instead of getting a facelift for $10,000, they pack their swimsuit and sunscreen and board a plane for Costa Rica where for about $3,000 or so, they can have the same procedure, recuperate in a tropical paradise on a Costa Rica vacation, and go home with money in their pocket.
And, soon, this world-class medical care in Costa Rica will be available on Costa Rica’s spectacular North Pacific Gold Coast. Renowned Cima Hospital has recently announced it’s developing a $125,000,000 project close to Liberia International Airport (just minutes to fabulous Gold Coast beaches) that will include a new hospital facility and residential center, with the first stage opening in 2011.