Does the Future of Healthcare in Costa Rica Involve Medical Tourism?

For some countries, healthcare has turned into a global business. As an example, in the United States, a citizen with healthcare insurance will pay on average $90,000 to have a heart bypass. However, when traveling to Thailand, that same person would pay just $12,000 for the same procedure. Other countries offer significant savings for different medical procedures, such as organ transplants in South Korea and dental implants in Costa Rica.

This past February at the United Nations Association of New York, author Sasha Issenberg addressed the issue of “medical tourism.” In addition to writing on the subject, Issenberg offers guest appearances and lectures.

His latest book, “OUTPATIENTS: The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism,” looks at a number of trends responsible for this healthcare phenomenon, noting that old standards of medicine on a national level are becoming obsolete.

The medical-industrial complex that shapes many nations, including the United States, is being demolished by medical tourism. Today, the corporate healthcare industry is worth trillions of dollars annually, with the United States aggressively vying for as much of the market as possible.

The Discovery of Medical Tourism

Issenberg also discussed the way in which various destinations, including Costa Rica, are being discovered by medical tourists. Although much of the focus is on saving money, people are just as concerned with quality results from a reputable healthcare provider. Obviously, traveling to another country for a medical or dental procedure takes trust and courage.

Patrick Goodness, CEO of The Goodness Company, a marketing specialist company for medical tourism, said that while procedures are more affordable in Costa Rica compared to North America, the number of people willing to take a risk on medical and dental procedures just to save money is very low.

Goodness said that when choosing an overseas healthcare provider, it is essential to find one that specifically treats international patients. Some of the key things to look for include a physician or dentist who speaks your language, someone who can provide patient testimonials, and a provider that patients feel comfortable talking to long-distance via phone.

There are literally thousands of excellent medical and dental providers in countries outside of the United States and Canada. An excellent way to make the right choice involves the use of a medical or dental guide. Most often, guides are dedicated to international patients and work hard to find the right provider.

In Costa Rica, people have a choice of two official guides, CostaRicaMedicalGuide.com and CostaRicaDentalGuide.com. Both of these guides come highly recommended, and they are staffed by licensed doctors and dentists. For patients, there is zero cost for the service.

To use either guide, you would discuss your needs with a trained professional. From there, you would be provided information about reliable providers who have met or exceeded high standard criteria. Rather than selling you on a particular provider, the guide will help you through the process of finding the right doctor or dentist.

The low cost of high-quality medical and dental procedures is just one more reason that people are choosing to retire in Costa Rica. Just as people turn to guides to find a reputable doctor or dentist, the professionals with Coldwell Banker have a large network of resources and offices to assist in finding the perfect home.

James Drews

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​