The phenomenon of
medical tourism in Costa Rica is very simple and can be summed up in 3 points:
+ Costa Rica has an excellent level of medical care for
only 1/3 the cost of the same service in the United States.
the US (and other developed countries) good medical care carries a high cost. Although, the new health care reform tax credit seems like a good deal for most folks in the States, Costa Rica is still a cheaper option for many USA and European citizens.
+ Along with medical services comparable in quality to
the US and recognized by their insurance companies, Costa Rica offers an ideal
environment for the recovery of patients and the enjoyment of their companions.
The numbers speak
for themselves: The same surgery or
treatment that in the US would cost US$15,000, in Costa Rica costs around
US$5,000. That is, this US$10,000
difference is more than enough for the airline tickets, hotels and as many
tours as you wish to take - not only for the patient but also for one or
Everyone in the
country is aware of the large price differences and the potential it carries it
with it. The prospects and
opportunities are immense and there is a consensus as much on the part of the
government as of the private sector that promoting the development of medical
tourism in Costa Rica will bring a long list of benefits to the country.
As a sign of this
commitment, in 2009 the Ministries of Foreign Commerce, of Tourism, of Competitiveness
and of Health of Costa Rica, signed a joint decree declaring medical
tourism to be “a matter of national interest”. To promote its development, PROMED(Council for the International Promotion of Medicine in Costa Rica) was
founded. PROMED is a private, not for profit entity dedicated to promoting the
development of the industry in the country and coordinating actions between the
private and public sectors.
But the parties
interested in this are not only domiciled in Costa Rica. Large companies in other countries as well
as foreign insurance companies have their eyes set on this phenomenon. This further opens the possibility to
drastically reduce the cost of surgical interventions or medical treatments for
employees and/or insurance holders by sending them to be treated in Costa Rica.
At the present time 49 million people in
the United States have no medical insurance and 108 million lack dental coverage. Source: US Census Bureau.
It is important
to note as well that this is not strictly a matter of cost. Another key factor
is the high standards of quality of medicine and care in this country. According to the last world ranking by the W.H.O.,
the health system of Costa Rica occupies the 36th world ranking, even higher
than the US which ranks 37th. This ranking, counts not only the private sector
but also considers the quality of public health care, one of the strong basis
of national medicine.
As a added value,
patients in Costa Rica are protected by very comprehensive and favorable
legislation, another critical factor taken in consideration for its high score
on an international level.
In the meantime
Mexico and Brazil, 2 other Latin American countries that are betting heavily on
medical tourism, lag far behind in ranks at 61 and 125 respectively.
recent times the country has been receiving about 30,000 patient-tourists
annually, everyone knows that this is only the beginning and the time has come
to get well organized and reinvigorate the initial surge that began in 2009,
which was partially slowed down by the international economic crisis.
sector is once again seeing a high level of renewed activity.
The boom of
medical tourism in Costa Rica appears to be just around the corner…
May 2011 will
provide an opportunity for the institutions and medical centers of Latin
America to meet with buyers of medical services and related institutions from
the principal countries providing the patients.
On May 2nd and
3rd in San Jose (at Hotel Ramada Herradura) and on
May 4th in Guanacaste (at Hilton Papagayo), the
2nd Medical Travel International Summit will take place. Numerous institutions will come together with
75 medical companies of Costa Rica and Latin America, over 50 foreign buyers (Insurance companies, self-insured companies and benefit consultants) along
with medical facilitators and global certifying entities (Companion Global Healthcare, Global Medical Connections, Costa Rican
Medical Care, Health Choices International and International Healthcare
Did you know?
Medical tourism generates some $60,000
million annually around the world and is projected to reach $100,000 million
promises to make history as the definitive moment that tightens the bonds and
establishes alliances that will define the future of the medical tourism
industry in Latin America.
PROMED with the backing of ICT (Costa Rican Tourism
Institute) and PROCOMER, the event has over 500
participants already confirmed from 10 countries.
| 35 speakers, 75
stands, training sessions, negotiating tables, certification services,
workshops and tours to familiarize visitors with the country are just some of
the elements of the event that will provide the optimum conditions to conduct
business and promote the advantages of Costa Rica as a medical-tourism
activities in San Jose, the participants will travel to Guanacaste to
experience the last session of the event in which the visitors will be given a
presentation of several medical tourism projects in the province and the
convenient conditions that Guanacaste offers for patients recovery. In this
last day, there will also be workshops and negotiation tables, closing the
activity with a carnival on the beach.
+ About the
+ About medical tourism in Guanacaste: