Costa Rica Seeking to Improve Medical Tourism

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    Costa Rica receives thousands of visitors every year. Allowing for the number of travelers coming from the United States, Panama, and Europe, the health private sector in the country has planned to create another system with a wider approach to assist tourists and local residents in general.

    The decision centers on the creation and expansion of the health service companies for travelers. Every year, institutions like PROMED have been investing in order to modernize the healthcare system for tourists and expatriates who are willing to apply for residence in the country.  Some weeks ago, the creation and modernization of a new medical tourism body agreed in the last healthcare centers assembly. The goal is to make the international service grow due to the increasing demand.

    The Costa Rican Chamber of Health is an organization formed by other institutions which work to provide top-notch health care service to foreigners. The company supports both public and private healthcare businesses. The public and the private sector are planning team up again to step up medical tourism in the country through a special program.

    The program aims to strengthen relations between the state institutes and the private medical companies to expand the services and enhance the quality of medical products as well. These great efforts will also bring great benefits to local residents in the long run.

    A total of 95 medical institutions is part of this national health network that counts on pharmaceutical companies and universities. It is expected that more institutes and businesses play an important role in the import of new technology and the provision of training courses to take Costa Rican international medical assistance to another level.

    According to the experts, this initiative will benefit the country in these ways:

    • Acquisition of new technologies in hospitals, clinics, and the different healthcare centers.
    • Better capacity to face up to new challenges which make possible to treat patients with complicated diseases such as syndromes and heart-related diseases that may require surgery.
    • Better facilities and human resource to deal with diseases linked to aging. This benefit will increase the chances to cope with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease, which mainly occur after 60.
    • Costa Rica will have more probabilities to react to virus and pandemic outbreaks such as zika, dengue, smallpox that normally claim many lives per year due to lack of prevention and preparation.

    The National Survey of Household Income and Expenditure has published a study which shows that most Costa Ricans spend more money on medical products since 2004. It means that the population has become more vulnerable to chronic diseases like hypertension and to viruses like zika which recently put the country in a tight spot.

    Local medical tourism is one of the most important industries nationwide. A lot of customers are actually from Canada and Americans who have chosen Costa Rican’s healthcare and dental work services for the high-quality and professionalism typical of local medical examiners and dentists. They mostly come for dentistry and cosmetic surgery, the most popular services.

    Nicaragua is another country which relies on Costa Rica surgery services. For example, many Nicaraguans turn to local professionals to get organ transplants since that kind of medical service is still not available in their country. Allowing for the profits coming from abroad, the annual revenue has come to US$3.624 this year; in other words, there has been a notable revenue increase in comparison to last year’s profits. As per the Central Bank, International medical services provided by Costa Rica to US, Canada, and Nicaragua, produces 13% of the net income generated by tourism.

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