Costa Rica dental business and the medical tourism.
Savings are what make Costa Rica one of the best countries for medical tourism in the world — Costa Rica dental medical tourism primary procedures are dentistry and cosmetic surgery, but also orthopedic, bariatric and eye surgery and a growing number of other procedures. Research and clinical initiatives are also enhancing Costa Rica’s capacity to treat patients with heart-related conditions, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, pain management, and diabetes. Besides the savings, the warm weather and Costa Rica beauty is also a major contributor for medical tourism in Costa Rica.
Medical Tourism Costa Rica statistics from the Costa Rican Health Chamber, PROMED:
- In 2016 Costa Rica welcomed some 70,000 medical tourists — up from 25,000 in 2008, 30,000 in 2009, 36,000 in 2010 and 48,000 in 2011.
- Spending by medical tourists in 2016 amounted to $485 million.
- A medical tourist spends up to seven times more than an ordinary tourist, about $7,000.
- The medical tourism sector supports some 20,000 jobs.
- 42% of procedures are dental, 10% cosmetic, 22% other surgeries, 16% preventive medicine and
other medical spending 10%.
Medical tourism growth in dental Costa Rica
Bill Nichol came from Canada for medical tourism in Costa Rica, he wanted new teeth and went home with a new wife and new teeth. Now 64, Nichol first came here nine years ago for 10 implants and 24 crowns, taking advantage of Costa Rica’s excellence as a destination for medical tourism. He met a Costa Rica woman whom he eventually married, and they live in New Brunswick now.
“Originally when I had my first work done, I think it was $65,000 in Canada for the restoration work, and in Costa Rica at that time it was $11,300,” he said.
“First of all, Costa Rica is already a well-known tourist destination, and then you have the proximity to the U.S., there’s lots of direct flights, and there’s warm weather all year long,” said Brad Cook, director of Medical Tours Costa Rica, which works with large North American companies like Ashley Furniture to save money on medical costs by sending patients here.
“And if people begin to research, they find Costa Rica medical tourism has a high standard in medical care,” he said. “In fact, the World Health Organization has Costa Rica ranked ahead of the U.S. in life expectancy. Here you get high quality at a more affordable price. It’s half to two-thirds less for dental treatments.”
Curry Willix, founder of the Dallas-based Medical Travel Option, said medical tourism in Costa Rica is also more personalized and not so rushed.
Costa Rica Dental Tourism delivers high quality at a more affordable price.
“Speaking as a U.S. resident, our healthcare system is a good one, but the way we care for patients here is decidedly hurried, it’s not ‘pura vida’ at all,” she said. “In the course of my lifetime, the experience of going to see the family doctor has changed so much, you are pretty much a number and you’ve got about 20 minutes or less to get in and out of the doctor’s office, if he’s running on time. So that’s a real distinction.”
Costa Rica’s popularity as a place for foreigners to seek treatment has also spawned a cottage industry that provides lodging, meals and transportation for these patients.
Private accommodations in Costa Rica
Che Tica Ranch is a full-service rehab center near Braulio Carrillo National Park run by a man from
Argentina, Ruben Martin, and his Tica wife Lorena.
“We’ve been here 18 years, we’re the pioneers here in Costa Rica,” Lorena said. “We pick patients up at the airport, take them to the hotel, then we install them here and take them to the appointment, usually the next day. With surgeries, depending on the surgery the patient spends a night in the hospital or if not comes here.
“We offer transportation to the airport, doctors, appointments. We have a nurse, we help with medications, we help with bathing, and we serve all three meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner and a coffee break.”
The facility has wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds that go up and down with the touch of a button. Lorena said one man came from South Africa to get $20,000 worth of dental implants that would have cost him $60,000 in his home country.
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