Information for Patients
According to the UN report in 2012, Costa Rica’s healthcare system was ranked within the top 20 worldwide. The system is divided into the public and private sector. The universal health care called Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) offers full coverage for all medical procedures and prescription drugs to all citizens and permanent residents through the public sector.
Alternatively, tourists can opt for the National Insurance Institute, which offers partial or full coverage for prescription drugs and certain medical exams through the private sector. The private medical insurance costs about $60-250 per month and the services include dental work, optometry, and annual check-ups.
Information for Health Care Professionals
Eligible foreign health care professionals and Costa Ricans who have graduated abroad must authenticate all obtained diplomas and certificates. Then eligible candidates must pass an equalisation exam, offered by the School of Medicine of the UCR, which will be conducted in Spanish. After passing the exam, you can practice in Costa Rica.
High-demand specialities including orthopaedics, ophthalmology and dermatology.
Information for Travelers
Costa Rica is a popular destination for medical tourism. There were 70,000 medical tourists in 2016 and this number is significantly increasing every year. The top procedures are dental, preventive medicine and cosmetic surgeries. The key strength of Costa Rica health system is a research and clinical initiatives, high-quality medical treatments and competitive pricing for treatments.
Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid and Rabies vaccinations are recommended for most travellers. Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for all travellers. There is a risk of being infected the dengue or chikungunya viruses while in Costa Rica. Please use mosquito repellents and netting. A diarrhoea kit is also recommended for all travellers.
The official language of hospitals in Costa Rica is Spanish. However, many doctors in private healthcare speak English and have received training in English-speaking countries.