Medical tourism in Costa Rica showed considerable growth in 2015 and 2016 in comparison with previous years.
According to statistics by the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the number of foreigners that visited the country with the purpose of seeking high quality and affordable medical care went from 9,774 in 2015 to 13,131 in 2016 which represents an increase of 34%, a very significant achievement for the medical tourism sector and for the country as it positions itself as a reputable medical tourism destination.
The majority of the tourists that visit the country for this purpose come from North America and mainly looking for dental treatments (40% according to Promed) and/or plastic surgery, and report savings for anywhere from 30% to 80% Vs North American prices.
On average a visitor that seeks treatment in the country spends close to seven thousand dollars, individually (not considering their traveling companions), and not taking into account the additional expenditure in possible recreational activities, such as tours, that they enjoy while they stay in the country.
Esthetic treatments like anti-aging options, weigh-loss, hormone treatments, reproductive medicine are also showing great potential in the wellness/medical tourism field in Costa Rica.
Prosthetics is yet another area that in reason of the high quality of the products, technology used and low costs is showing positive numbers with foreigners that usually originate from North and Central America.
“We are receiving foreign patients that don’t have the possibility of finding the prosthetic they need to rebuild their life after an amputation. They come here attracted by quality and low prices,” explained Dino Cozzarelli, director of the Advanced Prosthetics Center (Centro de Prótesis Avanzado).
Private hospitals such as Clínica Bíblica, Cima Hospital and La Católica Hospital have also been receiving more foreign clients. Biblica reports an average of 110 foreign patients every month, “80% originate from the United States, 15% from Central America and the remaining 5% from a variety of other countries”, declared Kenneth Rojas, coordinator of the Medical Direction of the Clínica Bíblica.
Travel agencies and medical tourism companies are also taking an active role in this industry and they help direct patients to Costa Rica when they can’t find what they needs in their own country or it comes with an unmanageable price tag.
Costa Rica needs to stay competitive when it comes to its prices while at the same time continue to promote the country as a wellness and medical / dental tourism destination; currently the public budget assigned to this industry is very very limited.
Originally posted at: http://news.co.cr/medical-tourism-costa-rica-registers-34-growth/68454/ By Laura Alvarado