Health Care

Walking with a friend has proven health benefits!
Walking with a friend has proven health benefits!

Costa Rica boasts one of the best health care systems in Latin America and with medical tourism on the rise; Costa Rica is a league above the rest when it comes to quality, affordability and access. Travellers need not worry about Malaria vaccines, and communication with medical professionals is rather easy as many doctors, especially in private practice, received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. and therefore speak English.

Overall, health care costs are about a third to a fifth of what you would pay in the U.S. and drug costs are less expensive, as a general rule, as compared to North America. When it comes to availability of uncommon prescriptions, solutions can be found given time and anyone with specific health care concerns should consult with a general health practitioner prior to moving. Prescriptions can be written in order to facilitate entrance into the country with such medications.

For Health Care Insurance there are public and private regimes available. Many expatriates choose to use a mix of public and private options in order to cut down wait times for specific procedures and treatments. Via public institutions, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) has the primary responsibility of providing low-cost health care services. The public sector recently underwent a change in administration and with it, came a revival in the commitment to the quality in the country’s public and private health care systems. New hospitals, new equipment, and improvements in staff training are among enhancements that are being felt nationwide.

In Costa Ballena, good quality resources are available, alongside specialized resources in larger cities, such as San Isidro El General (one hour drive from Uvita) and San José (three and half hour drive). The closest hospital is in Ciudad Cortés (twenty minutes from Uvita), other recommended health care facilities include CIMA hospital in Escazú, Clínica Bíblica in San José, and Hospital La Católica in San José-Guadalupe. Rest assured should there ever be an emergency, health care services can quickly be arranged by helicopter or ambulance transportation and referrals for patients to specialists throughout the country have low wait times. For expectant families, Pre-natal and Pediatric Services are available locally, with ultrasounds widely available at private clinics. Other services including Orthopedic, Aesthetic Medicine, and Dental Cosmetics will commonly becoming available.


Central America’s Great Health Success Story

In 1941, when the CCSS was created, Costa Rica began to provide universal health care to its wage-earning residents, with coverage extended to dependants over time. Today, its healthcare system is ranked higher than that of the United States, despite having a fraction of its GDP*.* Jacob, Brian (2009). “CLOSING THE GAPS: The Challenge to Protect Costa Rica’s Health Care System”.

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