On this page, you’ll find some useful information about professional services in Costa Rica. When through reading, you can return to the All About Costa Rica topic list.
Quality dental work is done inexpensively—it’s an increasingly popular reason why many tourists choose Costa Rica as their vacation destination, and it’s a wonderful boon for those who choose to make Costa Rica home. On average, dental work costs approximately 30 percent less than in the United States. In many cases, the savings more than pay the cost of a plane ticket.
Whether Tico, resident, tourist or even someone in the country illegally—everyone is entitled to emergency care at a Costa Rican state-run hospital. It is wise to keep a list of the emergency numbers of local facilities in your home and with you in your wallet at all times.
In the case of a medical emergency, call any of your local emergency numbers, the Red Cross (dial 128) and if necessary the police (dial 911) or if it is safe to move the patient without the help of a professional medical team, drive to the nearest emergency room.
Costa Rica has an excellent, affordable health care system. In fact, the United Nations consistently ranks the public health system as the best in Latin America, and along with the United States and Canada, one of the top systems in the world.
The quality of medical care is comparable to North America, but the cost is much lower. In Costa Rica, universal health care is considered a public responsibility.
Since the 1990s, a new kind of tourism has emerged in Costa Rica—one centered on the country’s outstanding private medical system. For locals today, gearing hospitality to travelers on “medical vacations” is part of everyday life.
Hospitals (Public and Private)
Both the public and private hospitals of Costa Rica have garnered excellent reputations for their quality and level of service.
The largest hospitals are concentrated in the major cities of San José and San Isidro del General, and a new state-of-the-art hospital in the Southern Zone near Uvita is quickly becoming a draw for both medical tourism as well as endowing the residents of the area with a sense of security that a good hospital is right in the neighborhood.
Permanent residents, pensionados and even tourists are eligible to apply for voluntary medical insurance through the government’s insurance company, the National Insurance Institute (INS), and many foreigners and retirees do in fact opt for it.
Holistic Health Services
Holistic care options in Costa Rica are as wide-ranging as their practitioners, whose practices you’ll find throughout the country. With the combination of a local phonebook (try the Digits in the Southern Zone), the newspaper, local magazines, Internet access, visits to health food stores and a watchful eye for posters and roadside signs, you’ll find a colorful and growing variety of natural health care options: doctors homeopathy, chiropractors, sound therapists, massage therapists, aromatherapists, yoga teachers and bioresonance practitioners, just to name a few.
Mental Health Care
Mental health services are free and accessible to Costa Ricans and legal residents. Although the majority of free mental health counseling services are offered in Spanish, there are also English-speaking practitioners in Costa Rica. In certain cases, privately offered English-language services are not covered under the free health care system.
There is no shortage of attorneys in Costa Rica, yet for foreigners, the importance of employing a good bi-lingual attorney cannot be underestimated. The best way to find one is through referral by someone you trust.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you still have questions about Costa Rica real estate and living or retiring in Costa Rica, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will respond to your questions as soon as possible and will be happy to assist you in any way possible.