For the last several years, Costa Rica has become known as a prime destination in the growing tourism healthcare market. Costa Rica is just a short 2 or 3 hour flight from several U.S. cities, making it an excellent option for North American residents seeking quality affordable healthcare. Two well-known private hospitals in Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose have capitalized on their international status as world-class healthcare centers and now offer several services for their international clientele at a fraction of the cost that one would expect to spend in the United States. Both Hospital Clinica Biblica in downtown San Jose, and Hospital CIMA in the suburb of Escazu, offer wellness and preventive packages as well as cosmetic surgery and all kinds of medical treatments. Both hospitals also offer truly affordable maternity packages as well. It is also worth mentioning that as an added bonus to foreigners, both the Clinica Biblica and CIMA accept a range of foreign insurance plans to meet the needs of their clients.
The quality healthcare available in Costa Rica isn’t just for medical tourists, however; residents are benefiting as well. In order to better serve the residents of Guanacaste, it was recently announced that there are plans to open a new private hospital near the International Airport in Liberia. Full details are yet to be released, but the new hospital will be affiliated with either Hospital Clinica Biblica or Hospital CIMA. Both hospitals have submitted proposals to build a new branch in Liberia, and it is safe to say that whichever hospital is selected to build in Liberia, the healthcare options that the new facility will bring to Guanacaste will be excellent and will benefit both residents and tourists alike.
Another exciting development for the region’s health needs is the recent addition of the San Rafael Arcangel Medical Center in Liberia. The first phase of the Medical Center was inaugurated in September 2006 with professionals in gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, vascular surgery, urology, geriatrics, psychology and nutrition. The response was incredible and as the center continued to grow, many more professionals from new specialties asked to become part of the Medical Center. San Rafael Arcangel will soon offer medical services 24 hours a day in a wide variety of specialties. The last phase of the Center includes plans for the construction of a Medical-Surgery Tower with a baby delivery wing, a surgery wing, and a modern emergency service facility. The Center seeks to be the first option for medical care in Costa Rica after the private hospitals in San Jose.
Reasonably priced, good medical care is also available throughout Guanacaste’s coastal resort towns. Services such as Emergencias 2000, located in Huacas and Tamarindo-Villarreal and Coastal Emergency Medical Services, also in Huacas and Tamarindo-Villarreal offer 24-hour emergency medical services and consultations. Both clinics also have laboratories and their own ambulances. In addition, there are numerous other small medical clinics and dental clinics in the area that offer excellent care and there are several acupuncturists and massage therapists who practice in the area as well. With all of these services available nearby, residents and tourists can feel at ease knowing they will be taken care of should they become ill or experience an emergency situation here on the Gold Coast.
My family has used the services at Hospital Clinica Biblica in San Jose and we’ve also used the services of a couple of private clinics close to our home near Tamarindo. We have nothing but positive things to say about the care we’ve received in Costa Rica thus far. Our daughter was born at the Clinica Biblica in February 2008 and my husband and I both felt absolutely comfortable there and felt my daughter and I received top-notch care. In addition, several of the doctors we had contact with spoke English, which was an added comfort for me. To avoid having to travel all the way into San Jose, we now plan to take our daughter to a pediatrician at the San Rafael Arcangel clinic in Liberia for her check-ups. We are thrilled to know that we are saving money on our family’s medical bills without compromising the quality of care we receive.
The Gold Coast is experiencing an influx of foreign residents and healthcare options in the area are quickly expanding to meet the needs of all of Guanacaste’s residents. With an excellent private hospital coming to Liberia as well as more and more small private clinics available in the area, soon Gold Coast residents won’t even have to leave Guanacaste to receive the quality healthcare they need.