It’s no secret that the biggest earner in Costa Rica is tourism. People flock here from every corner of the globe to enjoy unrivaled nature-based adventures. Yet in the last few years, people have been adding a rather ingenious activity to their tourist visit: Costa Rica is fast rising as one of the world’s top medical tourism destinations.
And that’s not at all surprising. With the sheer amount of stunning wilderness – from active volcanoes to pristine beaches, an immense number of national parks and wildlife galore, Costa Rica certainly rates as one of the world’s most relaxing and regarding destinations.
Whereas North American and Canadian visitors used to make up the greatest majority of medical tourists, Europeans clued up on the fact that this country offers excellent medical care at only a fraction of what they would pay at home, are also starting to visit en masse. And it’s not just cosmetic surgery they’re after. Dentistry, laser eye surgery and elective surgery are swiftly becoming popular too. And why not?
Enjoy an amazing holiday and have a medical issue resolved for a fraction of what you’d normally pay? Makes sense to us!
What is medical tourism?
It may seem odd to call medical tourism an ‘industry’, but when the global spending reaches 17 billion US dollars a year, you really couldn’t call it anything else. It is estimated that, every year, more than 10 million people fly half way around the world – or sometimes, just next door – to have a medical procedure done.
Procedures range from simple head-to-toe check-ups and bloodwork to more serious life-saving procedures like transplants and major surgeries. Cosmetic surgery is arguably the most popular and was probably the spark that ignited the industry in the first place. Breast implants, liposuction, nose jobs: name it, and you can have it done abroad faster and cheaper.
Ideal Medical Tourism Destination
For North Americans, Costa Rica comes in as a ‘half-price’ deal. Everything from medication to doctor’s fees, and all procedures, cost about 50% of what they do in the US. Moreover, it’s not just money people save, but also time. No waiting lists and next day appointments are the norm here, and considering the quality of the work and impressive health safety records, it isn’t surprising to learn that this is a soon-to-boom industry.
Top hospitals in Costa Rica are staffed, for the most part, by US-trained surgeons, doctors and nurses. This makes most visitors feel appeased, especially those who don’t speak Spanish. Return visitors also often mention that post-operative recovery in Costa Rica is phenomenal. Booking a 10-day luxury resort stay after their procedure being among the most popular options. The country even boasts post-surgery rehab resorts aimed specifically at medical tourists’ recover and rehabilitation.
Imagine…having much-needed-surgery AND enjoying a vacation in Costa Rica whilst saving a small fortune? It’s no wonder this kind of tourism is going through the roof!
Medical tourism is set to bring in an enormous amount of cash-flow in Coast Rica’s economy, and will be especially beneficial to the medical industry. The already-strict guidelines for recognized practitioners give visitors peace of mind and help the nation’s health-care levels continue to improve. A great bonus which will also help the health-industry reach more of the country’s own inhabitants, some of whom still suffer from poor medical access.
Want to find out more? Then take a look at Costa Rica’s medical tourism directory site for estimates and offers. And discover yet another reason to visit this most beautiful country.
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