Health care and public services
San Jose has several hospitals. It’s three largest ones are: Hospital CIMA, Clinica Biblica, An Clinica Catolica.
Hospital CIMA, in Escazu right off the highway, is the newest private hospital in the San José area and is affiliated with the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and managed by International Hospital Corporation of Dallas, Texas. It is a full service hospital that boasts the latest health care technology and the most sophisticated physical plant in Central America. Clinica Bíblica, in downtown San José, is now affiliated with the Blue Cross-Blue Shield network.Clínica Católica, in Guadalupe, a suburb of San José, is another fine private hospital with complete hospital and emergency services 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Most Costa Rican doctors are excellent and have been trained in Europe, Canada or the United States. If you don’t speak Spanish, many local doctors speak English, as well as many receptionists and nurses do.
Medicines and Pharmacies (Farmacias)
Pharmacies are numerous in Costa Rica and they stock most standard medicines available in Europe, Canada and the U.S. In general, the cost of most medicines is lower (up to 80%) than those in the U.S. Most drugs are freely available over the counter in any Costa Rican pharmacies without a prescription. There are, however, some exceptions, which are strong pain relievers and narcotics.
In Costa Rica, pharmacists are permitted to prescribe medicines as well as administer on-the-spot injections. They are also available to answer your questions and give free medical advice about less complex conditions. Some pharmacies open 24-hours a day, have bilingual employees to help you and will often deliver to your home.
Low Cost Medical Insurance
Costa Rica’s health care system is available to retirees (pensionados) and other foreign residents. Residents may join the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (Costa Rican Social Security System) and enjoy the same inexpensive medical coverage as most Costa Ricans do. They also have clinics all over the country.
Most foreigners and retirees opt for the medical insurance offered by the government’s insurance company—the National Insurance Institute or INS. Everyone is eligible to apply, including permanent residents, pensionados and even tourists. The medical policy covers expenses due to illness, accidents, hospitalization, office visits, lab work, medicines and medical costs in foreign countries. The INS and other Insurance Providers offer an international insurance policy that covers your needs in Costa Rica and the rest of the world. The rates are higher but the coverage is still very reasonable.
International Health Insurance Policy
The INS and other Insurance Providers offer an international insurance policy that covers your needs in Costa Rica and the rest of the world. These new medical policies cover medical expenses due to accident or sickness. Some of the items covered: Hospitalization and ambulatory expense, maternity, prothesis, organ transplants, air evacuation, repatriation of remains, funeral costs and a yearly check-up and eye test. The rates are higher but the coverage is still very reasonable. Costs vary according to the carrier.
Many tourists come to Costa Rica to have their cosmetic dental work done inexpensively. The quality of dental work in Costa Rica is equal to that found in Europe, Canada or the U.S. On the average, dental work costs about 30% less than in the U.S. Check prices with the dentist of your choice since rates vary.
Costa Rican dentists offer the following services: implants, gum treatment, root canals, whitening, oral surgery, crowns, bridges and nitrous oxide sedation.
Care for the Elderly
Full service custodial health care is available in Costa Rica for the elderly at a very low cost. Retirement Centers International offers comprehensive medical care and assistance that includes all medicines, lab work, dental care, physical therapy, rehabilitation and special diets.
These programs are some of Central America’s best and are considerably less expensive than in the United States. On the other hand, if these facilities are beyond an elderly person’s means, a full-time live-in domestic worker can be hired as a nurse for a couple of hundred dollars monthly. In addition to caring for an elderly person this worker can manage other household chores.
As you might see, the public as well as private health care systems, bring many options for different needs, with very comfortable prices and services. If you require medical attention, consult your hotel. They must have a list of doctors and medical centres for your medical and health needs.