Every time I’m in Costa Rica it always amazing me of how that country is developing into a First-World country. One of my meetings was about developing a Costa Rica medical tourism website and then I had a much respected meeting with one of our competitive Bloggers, who was getting ready to do the same.
A few months ago we wrote about Costa Rica medical tourism, and then another about stem cell research, but now they have become such a hot items, so much so, that conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh was flooded with emails when he answered a caller who was offering some type of medical insurance package, where treatments were in Costa Rica. Obviously, affordable health care is on the minds of all Americans, and Costa Rica is becoming the desire place for health and fitness care.
Cost for health care can be 70% cheaper than those in the U.S.
Medical tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of traveling across borders to obtain health care. However, what is also becoming more, it also refers pejoratively to the practice of healthcare providers and doctors traveling internationally to deliver healthcare services.
Did I say Doctors? – More and more specialty doctors are now traveling to Costa Rica and either being assisted or assisting local doctors. And why not, they can charge way less and at the same time, get a great vacation and so does the patience.
Probably the best example of this is my personal experience on dental, where my dentist is in Mexico. To make a long story short, I needed some teeth extractions and crown/bridge work the cost in the US was around 5000-US$6000. After shopping around I found a great dentist who performed the work for around $1200. Costa Rica is no different. Even when you throw in the cost to get to Costa Rica, hotels, food, a white water rafting trip, canopy ride and a few days of sport fishing, you come out ahead,
These medical services include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, cosmetic surgeries and the new hot item, a cure for diabetes and virtually every type of health care, including psychiatry, alternative treatments, drug and alcohol rehab, and convalescent care. After major surgery, one is usually sent to an eco-minded wellness center to recoup in paradise surroundings, a far cry from a sterile hospital and a lot cheaper and a hundred times more relaxing.
However, the biggest problem is bias minds – hesitation on traveling is the informal channels of communication-connection-contract, and the doubt that the medical services are less regulatory or a legal oversight to assure quality and less formal recourse to reimbursement or redress, if needed.
To many people still think that Costa Rica is a Third-World country and their doctors, nurses and hospital are still living in the dark ages with voodoo type care … it is simply not true. Costa Rica has some of the best professionals and hospitals in the world.