TCRN: As promised our topic this week is about Health Tourism
DR. MARCO: We are active participants in Health Tourism in Costa Rica. My information however, is not based on statistics, on exact numbers.
• I know that most of the time the waiting rooms at the Dr. Marco Munoz Cavallini International Dental Clinic are full with patients;
• I know that approximately 90% of our patients are foreigners
• I know that a good number of those coming for Dental Treatment, have come directly to Costa Rica because of us
And how many patients do you receive per week, how do they find you, how do they know about you?
DR. MARCO: Three months ago I would have ventured to give you a number. Our patients have increased since then and those figures have changed.
As to how they find us and how they know of us, our main kind of advertisement has become word of mouth. Satisfied patients tell family and friends about us, talk about us in internet forums and even in blogs.
TCRN: Besides satisfactory dental treatment what else do you offer that is important to the foreign patients?
DR. MARCO: The wide variety of dental services we offer is a plus. But I feel that our relevance comes from having our own on site laboratory. We can assure our patients not only prompt quality rehabilitations but also more efficient procedures which translate in time and money savings for everyone. Additionally, our lab has state of the art facilities, with the most recent and efficient high-tech equipment such as the CAD CAM which gives the option to digitally design and build crowns, this is the latest computer technology applied to dental restorations.. Even better is the highly trained personnel we have making high quality temporaries, great looking porcelain crowns and zirconium crowns and bridges. We do many full mouth restorations, so we keep our technicians very busy.
We are the First and only Dental Clinic in Costa Rica to have an on-site Hotel. Our Casa Marco Dental Recovery Center is connected to the clinic’s premises.
No matter what our patient’s dental needs are, we have the perfect place for them to stay!!!
The patients that lodge with us do not need to remain in the waiting rooms at the Dental Clinic for their appointments. Their dental schedules are coordinated between the Clinic and the Dental Recovery Center so they go from their bedroom straight to dental treatment rooms!
No need to worry about coordinating transportation from far away hotels to the clinic.
It is a small hotel with only 12 rooms, but it has all the comforts including Wi-Fi, air conditioning, small refrigerators.
TCRN: Full circle, you are practically all inclusive!!
DR. MARCO: Almost! Between our International Affairs Coordinator and our Communications and Patient Relations Department we help plan trips so that our patients also get to know our country.
For many foreigners, coming to Costa Rica is a true adventure. We begin e-mailing back and forth and talking about their oral health, the possible solutions and offer them alternatives.
I am particularly proud of being able to explain to our potential patients that implants are not a luxury reserved for only Hollywood people, that to the contrary Implants are an affordable, viable alternative for the everyday person, an integral part of their quality-of- care rights. They are quoted up to $80,000 dollars for a full mouth reconstruction with implants, so they think about them as an expensive luxury.
Times have changed and people can travel to destinations like Costa Rica in what is now called Health Tourism or Medical Travel, because there are more and more well educated and trained Practitioners that can offer them the services they need with a FASTER COMPLETION TIME. Implants are easy to install. If because of oral health issues (especially bone loss), the person needs bone grafts, with only a two week stay, we can put them on the way to recovery. There is also an INCREASED INSURANCE COVERAGE. Where many Insurance Companies classified implants as cosmetic dentistry, they are now accepting claims for a valid dental treatment. MORE AVAILABLE INFORMATION. Internet, Web Pages, Forums, Blogs which you can now access from your cellular is out there for the ultimate consumer: Our potential patients.
Health Tourism works. We just need to prepare more and more for it.